Report: Browns willing to give up a third-round pick for Colin Kaepernick

By Vincent Frank

The San Francisco 49ers are currently engaged in trade discussions with both the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos for embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

These discussions aren’t your normal trade talks.

First off, everyone around the NFL knows that Kaepernick’s agents have requested a trade from San Francisco.

Secondly, the 49ers don’t necessarily have to trade the struggling signal caller. He remains under contract, and can’t push his way out of Northern California unless the brass in Santa Clara agrees to trade him.

Finally, compensation isn’t necessarily the only thing in the way of a deal going down here.

Both Cleveland and Denver want the quarterback to restructure his contract before they agree to trade for him.

And while Kaepernick and the Broncos have apparently come to terms on what would be a new contract, the same can’t be said for Cleveland.

Per Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot:

“The Browns are willing to give up their third-round pick for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the trade is contingent on restructuring Kaepernick’s $19 million a year contract.”

That’s the interesting dynamic here. It appears that Cleveland and San Francisco have agreed to what the compensation would be in any deal. The only lingering issue here is Kaepernick’s contract — a contract that the Browns don’t really need to restructure in order to take him on.

After all, the six-year, $114 million deal he signed with San Francisco back in July of 2014 is about as team-friendly as it gets.

Set to make just over $35 million in the next two seasons, any team that acquires Kaepernick’s contract can release him after this upcoming campaign while accruing a dead cap hit of just $7.4 million.

That’s not too shabby in a quarterback market that has been flooded with absurd deals recently.

On the other hand, Denver and Kaepernick have reportedly agreed to the parameters of a restructured contract. Instead, the issue here is compensation. San Francisco wants the Broncos’ second-round pick while John Elway and Co. are offering their third-rounder.

The difference between compensation is pretty big here. Cleveland’s third-round pick is 65th overall while the Broncos third-rounder comes in 94th overall.

Denver did acquire Mark Sanchez from the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday. That deal won’t have any real impact on any potential trade talks with San Francisco. Sanchez is solely a backup quarterback at this stage in his career. It also only took a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 to acquire the veteran.

While Kaepernick is likely to move on from San Francisco in the not-so-distant future, NFL Media’s Mike Silver reported on Friday that there’s a third option on the table. This option would keep the embattled quarterback with the team.

Kaepernick’s entire 2016 salary becomes guaranteed on April 1st, which means San Francisco will want to figure out what’s going on with him before then. That’s magnified by the fact that the team might be in the market for a quarterback itself, primarily Robert Griffin III.

If Friday’s reports are any indication, a deal could go down relatively quickly here. We just have no idea the compensation and who might be involved.