Colin Kaepernick appears to be warming to the idea of staying in San Francisco. While it’s uncertain if that’s in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan‘s plans at this juncture, the 29-year-old quarterback reached out to Lynch. Kaepernick and the new 49ers GM plan to meet soon, Lynch said Thursday (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle).
“It will be a football decision,” Lynch said regarding Kaepernick’s status, “but I think part of that, there are different layers to that. I think everything will be included in the decision. I’m not talking specifically about his stance, though. When you have a quarterback, the great ones are leaders of men. All those things will be taken into account. Colin and I, when I did some 49ers games, I’d say we hit it off. I’d say there was a trust there. I think that trust extends, and I was thrilled when he reached out. I’m looking forward to talking with him.”
Shanahan said he will evaluate Kaepernick on film in the coming weeks. Many other signal-callers, like Kirk Cousins or Jimmy Garoppolo, have been linked to the 49ers in recent weeks, and the team can save $16.9MM by cutting Kaepernick. Previously believed to be opting out, Kaepernick is now in wait-and-see mode, joining the new-look 49ers in that regard. He’s the only quarterback under contract with the 49ers for 2017, even if that contract is not exactly binding.
Here’s more coming out of San Francisco.
- The official delegation of autonomy came down, and Shanahan will indeed be one of the handful of coaches with 53-man roster control. Lynch will oversee the 90-man roster, free agency and the draft, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets. Shanahan elaborated on his decision not to ask more from the 49ers in terms of control after being in a position of leverage due to the team’s eventful head coaching search. “I didn’t want to demand all of it,” Shanahan said. “What’s important to you? I’ve always thought none of it matters if you’re working with the right guy. So it’s what do you want to put down on paper? And I don’t need all that down on paper. It was important to me to have the 53 on paper because I think it’s important that the players know that.”
- Shanahan made a commitment to former Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner to follow him to his first HC job “a long time ago,” but he wants previous RBs coach Tom Rathman to stay with the team in a different capacity, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes. The former fullback has spent the past eight seasons on the 49ers’ staff, dating back to the Mike Singletary regime. “I love Tom Rathman. He’s a hero of mine, and I know what kind of coach he is. I’m trying hard to get him to be here in whatever other role he wants,” Shanahan said. “But I know Tom. Tom is a running backs coach. I’m going to try my hardest to keep him here. It’s definitely going to be up to him.”
- One of the many players placed on IR during the 49ers’ 2-14 season, Eric Reid looks to be on track to return by OTAs, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Reid tore a biceps tendon in late November but told Wagoner a doctor informed him if there was a game this week he would be able to practice. Entering his fifth season, the safety will make $5.676MM as part of the fifth-year option the team exercised.
- Lynch does not have a known preference on what kind of defensive scheme he wants the team to utilize. He said (via Nick Wagoner, on Twitter) he’s talked with DC options with backgrounds in multiple fronts. Former Jaguars linebackers coach Robert Saleh, current Patriots ‘backers boss Brian Flores and Falcons passing game coordinator Jerome Henderson are known options thus far. The 49ers have long used a 3-4 alignment, but most of the players from their early-2010s defensively geared run are no longer on the team. That said, 5-technique ends Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner arrived as first-round investments the past two years.