Colin Kaepernick has been linked to the Cleveland Browns, among other teams, but a new report indicates he is balking at taking a pay cut to play for “a bad team that is losing talent.”
This report comes by way of San Francisco 49ers beat writer Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Barrows also points to the fact that Cleveland owns the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and could still take a quarterback at that spot, even if Kaepernick is on board.
This all lines up with a recent report by Mike Silver of NFL Network in which he wrote the Browns want to cut Kaepernick’s pay, indicating the organization isn’t as high on him as many initially thought.
Cleveland has been criticized by agents since the start of the legal tampering period for being too hesitant in negotiations. Free agents have been scared away because of this, and because the franchise pulled the offer it had on the table to right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who ended up signing with the Kansas City Chiefs instead.
Rather than acquiring top talent, the Browns have watched their top free agents walk out the door. From center Alex Mack to receiver Travis Benjamin to safety Tashaun Gipson to the aforementioned Schwartz, this team has lost all its cornerstone free agents in 2016.
From Kaepernick’s perspective, this must feel a lot like what he himself experienced last year when so many of San Francisco’s top players left the organization for one reason or another.
With this in mind, what Barrows is reporting makes perfect sense. Kaepernick might be smart to listen to his gut and refuse to negotiate down from his current deal, because more and more this is looking like another dead end, promising head coach Hue Jackson notwithstanding.