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Report: Broncos want Colin Kaepernick to play for $7 million in 2016 and 2017

If Colin Kaepernick is going to play for the Denver Broncos, he’ll reportedly have to take a massive two-year pay cut. Mindi Bach of CSN Bay Area is reporting that Denver is asking Kaepernick to play for $7 million not just in 2016, but also in 2017.

The Broncos are offering Kaepernick an annual salary of $7 million for the 2016 season and the 2017 season, a source close to the situation told CSNBayArea.com on Tuesday. Denver’s offer of $7 million for the 2016 season was previously reported.

As laid out by Bach, it’s a huge amount of cash the Broncos are asking Kaepernick to abandon.

Agreeing to Denver’s offer would cost the 28-year-old quarterback $12.4 million in base salary, and potentially as much as $16.2 million, over the next two years. His current contract with the 49ers pays a base salary of $11.9 million for the 2016 season and $14.5 million in 2017.

Quite honestly, it wouldn’t make any real sense for Kaepernick to agree to a pay cut for the 2016 season alone. Taking one for both 2016 and 2017 would be idiotic.

The $7 million per year would be roughly on par with Chase Daniel’s new contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Say what you will about Kaepernick, but Daniel is Philadelphia’s backup quarterback and has started a grand total of two games in six NFL seasons. Kaepernick is certainly flawed, but he’s much more valuable than that.

Former quarterbacks Ron Jaworski and Warren Moon have each said that Denver is Kaepernick’s best fit. On the field, that’s correct. The Broncos are the reigning Super Bowl champions and naturally have one of the best situations for any player in the league.

Kaepernick’s current team, the San Francisco 49ers, are on the opposite end of the spectrum. And quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine a situation that is much worse than the one happening in Santa Clara.

Unfortunately, this issue goes well beyond what Kaepernick’s best situation on the field as a quarterback would be.

Realistically, Kaepernick simply can’t just give up this kind of money. Even the longest tenured NFL players have an extremely limited window to earn money. Agreeing to this would also certainly create a lot of backlash from the Player’s Union, which would understandably balk at the precedent being set by a player willingly foregoing so much money.

So, while Colin Kaepernick to the Broncos makes a lot of sense on the field, the overall fit seems too good to be true. Expecting a player who’s only 28 to take this kind of a pay cut would be unrealistic.