Although their actions are pointing toward a divorce with Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers aren’t connecting those dots publicly yet.
GM Trent Baalke didn’t reaffirm Kaepernick’s status as San Francisco’s quarterback, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com, but obviously didn’t close the door on a return, with the trade market for the injured quarterback’s services to consider.
“Right now is not the time to get into the particulars,” Baalke told media Sunday of Kaepernick’s future as the team’s quarterback. “Right now, he’s no different than any other player that’s been placed on IR. When that surgery takes place, then the rehab process, getting him ready for the offseason program’s the next step.
“They’ll be involved in all the meetings. They’ll rehab. They’ll condition. They’ll do all the things. No different than any other player that we have on IR.”
Kaepernick only appeared on the Week 11 injury report due to the fifth-year passer initially seeking treatment but not following up on it until complaining of pain recently, Baalke said, before adding the decision for the surgical procedure on his left shoulder was mutual.
Here is more Kaepernick fallout.
- After an NFL Network reported claimed three teams made trade overtures to the 49ers for Kaepernick recently, Baalke denied any teams contacted them, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). Before Kaepernick’s 2016 salary of $11.9MM becomes guaranteed on April 1, such action will presumably move to the top of the front office’s itinerary.
- A trade for Kaepernick will likely be something the 49ers will push for as he recovers from labrum surgery, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that scenario has significant flaws. Even though there is no more fully guaranteed money on Kaepernick’s deal, more than $31MM of guaranteed-against-injury money exists on the contract, making a trade nearly untenable. A deal would also be contingent on Kaepernick being healthy at the time of the trade, and Florio writes the signal-caller won’t be in any hurry to do the 49ers any favors — like the team-friendly deal he signed in June 2014 that gave them a relatively easy out after this second year — after what’s being perceived as a financially conscious move putting him on injured reserve now. Kaepernick forcing a release would allow him to land in the best situation for him, whereas a trade clearly benefits the 49ers.
- The 49ers have no visits scheduled with other quarterbacks yet, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports (on Twitter). Blaine Gabbert and the recently promoted Dylan Thompson are the only two on the active roster.