When Chip Kelly was in charge of the Eagles, we often heard whispers that the coach coveted Colin Kaepernick and viewed him as the right kind of quarterback to lead his offense. Ever since Kelly has arrived in San Francisco, however, we’ve heard nothing but trade talk. After the first waive of free agency has left the Broncos, Jets, Browns, and other teams with question marks under center, the Kaepernick trade buzz has only gotten louder.
Here is the very latest on No. 7:
- The Browns are willing to part with their third-round pick in 2016 for Kaepernick, but only if he restructures his contract, sources tell Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. The 49ers want a second-round selection for Kaepernick, writes Cabot, who adds that Cleveland’s third-rounder (the second pick in that round) comes quite close to qualifying as one. The Broncos have the 63rd pick, but they don’t want to deal it for Kaepernick, tweets Albert Breer of NFL.com. Given that the Browns are likely to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds this year – perhaps as high as No. 2 overall – they might be averse to paying Kaepernick more than $7MM-$8MM per year (excluding potential incentives), according to Cabot. Kaepernick’s current average annual value is $19MM. Acquiring him would likely put veteran Josh McCown on Cleveland’s trading block, per Cabot.
- The Broncos and 49ers remain apart when it comes to compensation on Kaepernick, according to Michael Silver of the NFL Network. Per Silver, the Browns and Niners are more on the same page regarding trade compensation, but Kaepernick’s agents and the Browns haven’t been able to make much progress on a rework deal for the quarterback. The NFL Network reporter notes that the 49ers are preparing for the possibility of keeping Kaepernick.
- Silver tweets that the biggest question marks are whether the Broncos will increase their trade offer or whether the Browns will increase their contract offer for Kaepernick.
- Kaepernick wants to play for the Browns, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The quarterback has respect for new head coach Hue Jackson, making Cleveland an attractive destination for him. In the Kaepernick sweepstakes, the Browns are considered to be a more realistic trade partner than the Jets, who aren’t believed to be a serious suitor. The Broncos are also serious about him and may consider Kaepernick their top quarterback target.
- As long as Kaepernick isn’t dead set against joining a particular team, the 49ers will drive the decision and not the player, Michael Silver of NFL Network tweets.
- The Browns are still trying to trade for Kaepernick, according to Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer. The Broncos are still actively in talks with the 49ers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
- There is “no rush” by the 49ers to trade Kaepernick, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets.
- Mike Florio of PFT believes the 49ers are intent on trading Kaepernick. Otherwise, he argues, they’d shooting down any trade rumors that come their way. Instead, Florio suspects that they are the source of many of these leaks.