Report: Colin Kaepernick would have to take pay cut to play for Broncos

Ed Szczepanski, USA Today Sports

With the Denver Broncos quarterback situation very much unsettled, the possibility of a trade with the San Francisco 49ers for Colin Kaepernick lingers. But according to Mike Klis of 9 News, a trade will not happen unless Kaepernick takes a sizable pay cut.

When answering a reader’s question, Klis stated that the Broncos’ $2 million in available cap space is last in the NFL and places them well under the space they’d need to land Kaepernick at his present salary.

So the Broncos cannot afford Kaepernick at his current 2016 rate of $14.3 million (which is comprised of an $11.9 million salary, a $2 million roster bonus and $400,000 workout bonus). To be clear, a trade for Kaepernick does not happen unless Kaepernick reduces his 2016 money.

In fact, that’s the biggest hang-up to a potential deal.  It’s such a hang-up the Broncos and 49ers have not even seriously exchanged trade proposals involving draft picks. For now, Kaepernick’s $11.9 million salary is guaranteed.

Rationally, there’s no way that Kaepernick should take that much of a cut, if much of one at all.

Given how the last few years have gone, it’s understandable that he’d want to get out of San Francisco, and on the field Denver is about as good of a fit as there is in the NFL.

But the bottom line is that Kaepernick is set to make $14.3 million in 2016. If he takes such a passive cut, there’s absolutely no guarantee that he’d ever get that money back.

So, while Kaepernick to the Broncos makes sense in many ways, it doesn’t add up financially. Keeping that in mind, a trade seems highly unlikely.