"I'll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he's an outstanding player and I think he's a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said he thinks NFL teams aren’t as patient as they need to be in developing quarterbacks, and he thinks a smart team will take the time to work with Kaepernick to make the most of his physical tools. That team, Harbaugh believes, will win multiple Super Bowls.
The signal-caller remains unsigned after he opted out of his last deal.
While Kaepernick is deserving of another chance in the NFL, Harbaugh is perhaps overly optimistic when he foresees a team building around the former 49er and winning multiple Super Bowls.
It's a bit similar to when ESPN's Ron Jaworski argued years ago that Kaepernick could go down as one of the best quarterbacks in history.
Kaepernick has never recaptured the magic of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, when it looked like he, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson could revolutionize the NFL. Between 2014 and 2016, Kaepernick has thrown for 7,225 yards, 41 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
In addition, Kaepernick turns 30 in November, so he's no longer a young quarterback with boatloads of promise. Football Outsiders ranked him 30th among quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) in 2016, and Pro Football Focus graded him 26th (61.6) at the position.
If the New York Jets can sign 37-year-old Josh McCown, then Kaepernick should have a future in the NFL as a veteran backup. His days as a franchise QB capable of winning championships is in all likelihood over, however.