WEDNESDAY, 10:50am: Kaepernick is actually seeking a salary in the neighborhood of $20MM+ annually on his next contract, says Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, in a lengthy piece on the 49ers quarterback. According to La Canfora, Kaepernick will likely only sign an extension if it’s in the ballpark of $20MM per year, and will be happy to play out his current deal and take his chances next year if no new agreement is in place.
MONDAY, 1:21pm: Within his Sunday notes column for the Boston Globe, Ben Volin included an interesting tidbit on Colin Kaepernick, who is eligible for a contract extension. Citing sources, Volin writes that the 49ers quarterback wants a deal similar to or slightly better than the long-term pacts signed by Jay Cutler and Tony Romo, who are both on contracts worth about $18MM annually. Following up on the story, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Kaepernick is looking for “more than” $18MM per year.
Kaepernick remains under team control for 2014 at a base salary of less than $1MM, so there’s no real urgency yet for the Niners to lock up their signal-caller. While no one believes the 26-year-old is going anywhere anytime soon, Volin writes that Kaepernick appears willing to play out the 2014 season at his current salary if the Niners don’t get near his asking price — he’d prefer to postpone negotiations for a year rather than ink a below-market deal.
Kaepernick’s talks with the 49ers will be tricky, since both sides have reason to be cautious about plunging into a long-term agreement, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk outlines. From the team’s perspective, the young quarterback has only logged 23 career NFL starts and hasn’t yet shown he can consistently produce while facing a heavy pass rush. On the other hand, San Francisco has reached an NFC championship and a Super Bowl in the last two years in large part because of Kaepernick, and the franchise was willing to trade away Alex Smith to pave the way for the Nevada-Reno product.
One potential compromise for the two sides is a shorter-term extension, one that would keep Kaepernick under contract through 2016 or so. A deal like that could allow the team to meet Kaepernick’s $18MM-per-year asking price for his first two free agent seasons while spreading out the cap hit over the 2014 season as well. Former agent Joel Corry of CBSSports.com detailed that scenario recently in his full breakdown of the situation.