Colin Kaepernick Rumors: QB Reportedly Won't Be Released by 49ers

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2016

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2015, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) stands on the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Santa Clara, Calif.  The The 49ers announced Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, that they placed Kaepernick on the injured reserve list. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

As the April 1 deadline approaches for Colin Kaepernick's 2016 salary to become fully guaranteed, the San Francisco 49ers reportedly do not plan on trying to dump their quarterback.   

According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the 49ers "appear" to be moving forward with Kaepernick and do not intend to release him. 

Kaepernick's future has been the subject of speculation since he was placed on injured reserve last November. 

When the 49ers signed Kaepernick to a six-year extension in 2014, it was as team-friendly as any major deal for a quarterback can be.

Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com noted after Kaepernick was placed on IR his deal is only guaranteed for injuries, so if he wasn't healthy enough to pass a physical on April 1, the 49ers would be on the hook for his $11.9 million salary. If he is healthy, he could be released before April 1 with no financial hit for the team. 

San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said last month during the NFL Scouting Combine that Kaepernick would not be released and new head coach Chip Kelly was looking forward to working with him. 

Baalke's comments were complicated when NFL.com's Rand Getlin reported Kaepernick's agents requested permission from the 49ers to seek a trade. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on March 11 that Kaepernick wanted to play for the Cleveland Browns and new head coach Hue Jackson, who Schefter noted was Oakland's coach in 2011 when Jackson said he wanted to trade up in the 2011 draft to select Kaepernick. 

Maiocco's report notes the 49ers' trade talks with the Browns, Denver Broncos and New York Jets aren't progressing because those teams "have not shown much urgency" to make a deal for Kaepernick.

The 49ers are in a no-win situation by keeping Kaepernick right now. All the reports certainly make him seem like a player who isn't happy with the franchise and wants a fresh start somewhere else. They have not shown much faith in him, not that he's earned it with his play the previous two years—as Maiocco noted, he will have to compete for a starting job. 

San Francisco's only real reason to keep Kaepernick at this point is the hope that one of those quarterback-needy teams will eventually hit a desperate point and meet the 49ers' demands in a trade. It's a strategy that could pay off, but it also comes with a lot of risk. 

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