Report: 49ers could still keep Colin Kaepernick, make him compete for job

By Jesse Reed

Colin Kaepernick is being pursued by both the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns, who are trying to land the quarterback in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. There are snags holding up┬áboth of those potential deals, however, per Michael Silver of NFL Network, and the 49ers are not adverse to keeping Kaepernick if those issues aren’t resolved.

That Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco is hardly in question. He’s made it crystal clear this offseason — staying away from team facilities to rehab his surgeries in Vail Colo. and by having his agents request permission for him to seek a trade — that he’d rather have a fresh start elsewhere than start fresh with the 49ers in 2016.

However, the two teams that are most interested in landing his services via trade with the 49ers are both experiencing some roadblocks on the road towards making that happen. Furthermore, the 49ers really do seem to want to keep him with the intent of letting him compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job.

Silver reports the Broncos and 49ers are far apart on draft compensation for the quarterback. The 49ers want a second-round pick for Kaepernick (he was drafted in the second round originally), and the Broncos don’t think he’s worth a second-round pick at this time.

Over in Cleveland, the terms of the deal have been generally agreed upon, per Silver, but issues remain between Kaepernick and the Browns about his contract.

In both cases, we’re seeing teams that don’t value Kaepernick quite as much as is being assumed by the media. While his name is hot, he’s either too expensive from a perspective of giving up valuable draft picks or for how much he’s worth annually.

From Denver’s perspective, it’s understandable John Elway might balk at giving up a second-round pick, especially when he might not have to give up anything to land a pretty reliable veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick. But if the Broncos think Kaepernick can be the quarterback of the future, in reality he’s worth that pick.

That the Broncos aren’t interested in giving up their second pick of the draft indicates they aren’t completely sold on Kaepernick in this respect.

From Cleveland’s perspective, it’s strange that the contract is much of an issue. In reality, given the gaudy contracts being handed out like candy, Kaepernick’s $11.9 million is relatively cheap. Furthermore, his contract as it currently stands is a series of one-year contracts in which teams can cut him without penalty each year.

That the Browns aren’t interested in keeping him on that deal suggests they aren’t sold on him as the franchise passer, either.

This all adds up to one thing, which is that Kaepernick might just be back in San Francisco for the 2016 NFL season. He might not like that outcome, but in reality he might just be right where he needs to be in the first place to have the most success moving forward.