Colin Kaepernick: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation Surrounding 49ers QB's Future

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

After the San Francisco 49ers announced head coach Chip Kelly's hiring, all eyes turned to quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his future with the franchise that drafted him 36th overall in 2011.

Continue for updates.

Broncos-49ers Deal Hasn't Been Ruled Out

Thursday, April 28

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported that he is hearing "there is nothing going on" regarding a potential trade between the 49ers and Denver Broncos involving Kaepernick.

On Wednesday, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported on a deal that could be in the works between the Broncos and 49ers:

On Wednesday, Mike Klis of 9News reported that the sides recently talked for the first time in weeks, but no progress had been made. He added that the Broncos were remaining patient in their search for a quarterback.

On April 7, Cole shared what he's hearing regarding the Broncos' offer to Kaepernick:

CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported on April 6 that the Broncos wanted to pay Kaepernick $14 million over two years rather than $12 million in 2016. La Canfora added that the Broncos wanted to retain the final two years of the QB's deal but noted that the Broncos were still asking too much.

Cole reported on April 4 that Kaepernick will not take a pay cut and that the team will not pay part of the quarterback's deal to complete a trade. There was "no deal" with the Broncos, per Cole.

However, Klis reported that talks were still on but that both sides were "stalemated on who pays what" of Kaepernick's contract. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport added that the trade talks were "not dead yet."

Schefter reported on April 4 that the 49ers and Broncos had "the parameters of an agreement in principle on a trade for [Kaepernick], sources said. But before a deal is completed, the 49ers, Broncos and Kaepernick have to agree on who will pay the quarterback's $11.9 million guaranteed salary for this upcoming season, according to a source."

Schefter continued:

The Broncos are willing to pay $7 million, a source confirmed to ESPN. But Denver and Kaepernick would like the San Francisco to pay the remaining $4.9 million; the 49ers have been unwilling, according to a source, believing they should not have to pay for a player they'd like to keep on their roster. Kaepernick has also been unwilling to forfeit the $4.9 million to make the deal work, according to a source.

A high-level source says "it would take two seconds" for the teams to finalize the proposed deal. The compensation in the trade is a nonissue, per sources familiar with deal. It will be a midround pick and sources from both teams said that will not be any holdup and they can "finalize it with one phone call."

Spotrac noted, "Should the 49ers restructure $4.9 million of Kaepernick's salary to bonus in order to trade him, they'll eat $12.29 million in 2016 dead cap."

Cole reported that Kaepernick likes the idea of playing for the Broncos but is not willing to take a pay cut:

ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold reported on April 2 that the Broncos would have to make additional moves to make a deal work with Kaepernick:

Tackle Ryan Clady continues to be the potential starting point in any work on the salary cap. ...

They may be forced to release Clady before the draft since that would give them $8.9 million worth of additional salary-cap room.

They simply have to make a move with Clady if they have a chance to complete any deal for Kaepernick, which would send a mid-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers -- most likely a fifth-round pick -- and Kaepernick agrees to a major re-structuring of his deal.


To create some additional cap space, the Broncos could go to players with some of the larger contracts on the team, such as wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, cornerback Aqib Talib or cornerback Chris Harris and turn some of their base salaries into a signing bonus for a renegotiation.

Cole detailed a pay cut on March 31, reporting that the Broncos wanted Kaepernick to take a deal worth just $7 million for next season if he's traded.

However, Cole reiterated that Kaepernick is unlikely to do so:

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Kaepernick and Broncos general manager John Elway met at Elway's house on March 31.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL on March 30, Klis (via Ross Tucker of NBCSN) reported that the Broncos wanted Kaepernick to take a "reduced contract" and it was a holdup in talks with the 49ers.

On March 24, it was reported the Broncos were the only team interested in trading for Kaepernick at that point, according to Rapoport (via NFL Media), who added, "It does not appear that anything is on the horizon."

Michael Silver of NFL Network reported that Kaepernick was the Broncos' "chief target" and that "the 49ers likely want a second-round pick, [but the] Broncos may be willing to part with a third."

Despite the talks, Klis spoke to a Broncos source on March 10 who said the team was in "no rush" and was "exploring all options."

Baalke Comments on Kaepernick's Future with 49ers

Wednesday, April 27

San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke told Bob Holtzman of ESPN, via his colleague Adam Schefter, that "it's possible" Kaepernick will be traded this week. 

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee on April 20, Baalke said that "nothing's changed" with regard to Kaepernick's status with the organization, but he wouldn't rule out a potential trade.

"You never say never in this business," Baalke said, per Bay Area News Group's Cam Inman.

Inman added that Baalke and Kaepernick have not sat down and talked about a potential trade.

Elway Comments on Status of Trade Talks

Thursday, April 21

John Elway said talks with the 49ers are "dormant," per Lindsay Jones of USA Today.

Kaepernick Reportedly Likely to Remain with 49ers

Thursday, April 7

Schefter reported there is a 75 percent chance Kaepernick stays with the 49ers this season.

Kubiak Comments on Meeting with Kaepernick

Thursday, April 7

"We were granted the opportunity to have that visit, and that was good and very impressive," Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak told reporters.

Kaepernick to Show Up for OTAs

Sunday, April 3

Kaepernick is expected to report to 49ers OTAs on Monday, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

Kaepernick's Contract Deadline Passes

Thursday, March 31

The 4 p.m. ET deadline for Kaepernick's contract to become guaranteed passed, and the quarterback was not traded from the 49ers. This means Kaepernick's $11.9 million base salary is now guaranteed, and he'll also get a $400,000 workout bonus and $2 million in per-game bonuses.

Despite Kaepernick's contract becoming guaranteed, the Broncos remain interested, per Klis.

Cole reported on March 21 that Kelly has the final call on Kaepernick's future:

Schefter reported March 17 that while trade talks have cooled off, the 49ers will continue to try to deal the quarterback before or during the NFL draft.

On March 17,Maiocco reported the 49ers "appear prepared for [Kaepernick] to remain with the organization," as trade talks "have gone cold over the past week."

"There's a good chance he's still on the team the way things look now," a source told Maiocco.

When asked about the potential for the 49ers to cut the quarterback, the source told Maiocco it "won't happen."

On March 11, Silver reported the 49ers were prepared to retain Kaepernick and allow him to compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job.

Silver added, "The 49ers believe Kaepernick's salary isn't too much to swallow for a player who'd theoretically have a chance to be their starter this season."

Kaepernick Unlikely to Move Unless 49ers Get Major Offer

Tuesday, March 29

Rapoport, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com, reported the 49ers won't trade Kaepernick unless the team is "blown away" by an offer.

49ers Want Kaepernick to Withdraw Trade Request

Monday, March 28

The 49ers would "fully guarantee his salary right now" if Kaepernick backed off his trade request, according to Rapoport, via NFL Media.

Rand Getlin of NFL Network reported Feb. 25 that "Kaepernick's agents have requested permission from the team to seek a trade."

Browns Not Pursuing Kaepernick

Monday, March 21

Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com provided a synopsis of Sashi Brown, the Cleveland Browns' executive vice president of football operations, discussing the rumors surrounding the Browns and Kaepernick:

Brown said the Browns are not actively engaged in trade talks with the 49ers for Colin Kaepernick "and at this point we don't anticipate being engaged with San Francisco.

He said the Browns were called to see if they were interested, and engaged in some preliminary talks. He said the Browns' interest was "over-reported'' and that they never negotiated a draft pick or a new contract for Kaepernick.

Cabot, citing sources, reported March 11 the Browns were "willing to give up their third-round pick for Colin Kaepernick, but the trade is contingent on restructuring Kaepernick's $19 million a year contract."

Schefter reported March 11 that Kaepernick was interested in a move to the Browns because he respects new head coach Hue Jackson.

On March 12, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported Kaepernick is "wary of taking a lower-money deal on a bad team that is losing talent and that may also use its first-round pick, No. 2 overall, on a quarterback."

Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports first reported the Browns were interested in Kaepernick on March 10.

Kelly Comments on Kaepernick Situation

Thursday, March 17

Branch provided Kelly's take on Kaepernick:

Eric Branch @Eric_Branch

Chip Kelly said he wants to keep Colin Kaepernick: "I love Kap." #49ers https://t.co/Vm7icvCK7m

Kaepernick Trade Talks Reportedly Stall

Monday, March 14

Silver reported it's "all quiet" on the trade front for Kaepernick. Garafolo called the market a "total standoff."

Silver noted the Broncos are "holding firm" with an offer of a fourth-round draft pick. The Broncos currently don't have a fourth-round draft pick to trade, per Silver, but added it's the valuation Denver placed on Kaepernick and they'd "have to figure out a way to make that work."

Silver also said there has been no movement from the Browns.

On March 10, Maiocco reported, "There's been no movement recently in trade talks involving [Kaepernick], the 49ers, and Broncos, Browns and [New York] Jets."

However, Schefter said "it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when" in regard to a Kaepernick trade, via SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Jets Reportedly Out of Kaepernick Chase

Thursday, March 10

Silver reported Kaepernick is "not going to the Jets."

Earlier in the day, Garafolo reported the Jets were interested in Kaepernick.

Despite Silver's report, Maiocco reported the Jets have not "put their cards on the table," citing a source.

"I don't want Kaepernick," Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said on ESPN's First Take (via Jason Lisk of the Big Lead) on Feb. 3. "I think he's good. My guy's [Ryan Fitzpatrick]."

Kaepernick, 49ers' Relationship Reportedly Damaged

Thursday, March 10

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported "serious trust issues remain" between Kaepernick and the 49ers, adding it "doesn't seem very workable."

Kaepernick Willing to Play for 49ers in 2016

Monday, Feb. 22

Rapoport reported on NFL Total Access that Kaepernick "certainly is more than open to returning to San Francisco," per Chris Wesseling of the NFL Network.

Conflicting Reports Surround Kaepernick's Desire to Join Jets

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Dom Cosentino of NJ Advance Media reported "there's no truth" to rumors that Kaepernick would like to leave the 49ers to join the Jets.

"No," Cosentino's source said. "Nothing. No idea where it came from. Random, strange article."

On Tuesday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported "Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco" and the Jets "are his preferred destination." Mehta also said the Jets are "aware and intrigued by Kaepernick's desire to play for them."

Injury, Contract Could Impact Potential Move

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Cole reported how Kaepernick's contract and injury could complicate a potential departure from the 49ers:

Kaepernick's Struggles, Salary Could Spell End of 49ers Tenure

Kaepernick, who is coming off an injury-damaged 2015 season in which he started just eight games before landing on injured reserve, is due to make $11.9 million next year with a $15.89 million cap hit.

ESPN's Bill Barnwell said the 49ers wouldn't necessarily need to cut Kaepernick for financial purposes, since they will have around $50 million in cap space after their rollover before doing anything.

Kaepernick has been the face of the 49ers' decline over the last two years, fairly or not. That's what goes with being the starting quarterback of a franchise, even though he only started half of the team's games in 2015.


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