Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is set to return to the 49ers’ starting lineup this week, but his NFL future was in doubt as recently as last year. At least two teams that looked into Kaepernick as a potential trade acquisition had questions about whether he wanted to continue playing, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB. Kaepernick ended up staying in San Francisco, of course, and will now take over head coach Chip Kelly‘s offense. If Kaepernick fails under Kelly, the league might not regard the 28-year-old as a viable option anymore, writes Breer, who notes that his career hangs in the balance. “This offense gives him the best chance, no doubt,” one 49ers source said of the mobile Kaepernick, who could become a free agent at season’s end.
More from Breer:
- After last season, when it looked as if the 49ers would trade Kaepernick, the relationship between him and general manager Trent Baalke “couldn’t have been worse,” a source told Breer. Kaepernick has never trusted Baalke and views himself as a Jim Harbaugh draft pick, relays Breer. Baalke and Kaepernick went months without speaking to one another amid trade rumors last offseason and then met during the summer to clear the air. It doesn’t seem their meeting was productive, however, as sources close to Kaepernick see his relationship with Baalke as “irreparable,” per Breer.
- Considering all the problems on their roster, the Dolphins aren’t sure if they can properly evaluate fifth-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill this season, Breer suggests. As a result, Breer doesn’t expect the Dolphins to move on from Tannehill during the offseason. Releasing the 2012 first-round pick before March would save Miami all but $3.5MM of his $17.98MM salary for 2017. The 28-year-old is under team control through 2020 on the six-year, $96MM extension he signed in May 2015.
- Marc Trestman‘s pass-first philosophy helped bring an end to his tenure as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, according to Breer. Baltimore fell from eighth in rushing under previous O-coordinator Gary Kubiak in 2014 to 26th last season with Trestman. Those ground woes have continued early this year for the Ravens, who rank 28th in rushing, though Terrance West has averaged an outstanding 5.0 yards per carry on 65 attempts. West picked up 95 yards in the Ravens’ 16-10 loss to the Redskins last Sunday, but he only amassed 11 carries in Trestman’s final game at the helm. “The players lost faith in [Trestman] last year, and he never got it back,” a Baltimore source said.
- Trestman wasn’t the first offensive coordinator to lose his job this year. That description belongs to Greg Roman, whom the Bills ousted after Week 2. Buffalo has won three straight since replacing Roman with Anthony Lynn, though the Bills’ defense has played a larger role in the turnaround than their offense. Still, one Bills veteran explained to Breer the key difference in the offense since Lynn took the reins, saying, “We’re running the same plays that we did under G-Ro. It’s just that with Roman, we had a huge playbook and we could run absolutely anything from week-to-week. Anthony’s all about matchups… He played [in the NFL], so he knows matchups are huge.”