Report: Colin Kaepernick will opt out of contract, become free agent

By Jesse Reed
Ed Szczepanski, USA Today Sports

It looks like the San Francisco 49ers will have their chance to start from scratch at the quarterback position, as Colin Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Kaepernick “will be opting out of his contract, according to a source, becoming  free agent.”

This is hardly a surprise, despite the fact that Kaepernick himself shot down the rumors that he was planning to opt out when they emerged during the season (more on that here). The 49ers and the quarterback have had a contentious relationship at least since midway through the 2015 season, if not much earlier.

This was clearly seen when Kaepernick’s agent requested that the team give him permission to seek a trade before the 2016 NFL Draft. Of course, nothing came out of that, and Kaepernick ended up starting 11 games this past season for the 49ers after his shoulder healed up following offseason surgery.

It remains to be seen what kind of interest Kaepernick will garner around the NFL, even with a sharp deficit of talent at the quarterback position.

One team that would seem to make for a good fit is the New York Jets, who hired John Morton as its offensive coordinator. He and Kaepernick know one another, stemming from Morton’s time as the wide receiver coach for the 49ers, and the Jets were reportedly one of the teams in the mix last year when the quarterback was looking for a trade. Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns might have some interest as well, along with at least a few other teams in need of a quarterback.

It will be interesting to see what type of deal Kaepernick ends up getting in free agency. One of the most talented players from a physical standpoint in the NFL, he has yet to master the nuances of playing quarterback at the NFL level. Though due to his abilities teams will likely be interested in helping him achieve his full potential.

Stay tuned, folks.