Chip Kelly‘s official preference on Colin Kaepernick now that he’s in control of the 49ers hasn’t been established. But rival defensive coordinators are under the impression the former Eagles coach will extend an olive branch to the maligned quarterback once thought set for the trade market, given what the pair could accomplish together, NFL.com’s Albert Breer writes.
Whereas the DCs informed Breer that Sam Bradford did not evoke much fear in Kelly’s attack, the mobile Kaepernick could, considering how Kelly’s offense looked when he was coaching Marcus Mariota or Darron Thomas at Oregon.
“I think [Kaepernick] is a good enough passer, but obviously what’ll be a nightmare is his ability to run. That offense is straight ‘Freddy Krueger’ when you have a quarterback that can pull the ball and run at any given time,” one rival coordinator told Breer.
Kelly’s Philadelphia tenure began with Michael Vick at the controls, but Vick at that point did not represent the kind of dual-threat signal-caller Kaepernick has shown himself to be at his best. The former second-round pick’s strong arm will bring something else Bradford didn’t last season, per another rival DC, along with his ability to play a zone-read-style system alongside Carlos Hyde.
“Awesome — could be scary. You get the run threat back to keep the ball on zone read,” the coordinator said. “… And Kap can throw it deep. Chip stretched the field with [Nick] Foles vertically, and not as much with Bradford. … And Kap did a good job with simple reads and progressions early in San Francisco. Chip’s intermediate pass game in Philly had those features.”
Assuming Kelly wants to see how Kaepernick looks in his offense, the 28-year-old will enter the third year of his contract and cost the 49ers $15.9MM against their 2016 salary cap once he’s on the roster after April 1.
Here are some other items from around the league as 28 teams are in their early offseason phases.
- With the Cowboys and Jaguars’ coaching staffs set to instruct sides at next weekend’s Senior Bowl, a source told David Moore of the Dallas Morning News secondary coach Jerome Henderson‘s status will be resolved by Monday when the staff leaves for the all-star game. The 46-year-old Henderson interviewed for the Browns’ head-coaching job, the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator role and on Friday spoke with the Falcons regarding an unspecified position with the Atlanta defense. Cowboys officials, however, have expressed desire to retain Henderson, however, according to Moore. His contract expires at the end of the 2016 season. Henderson and the Cowboys have discussed his contract, with the understanding that Henderson will only depart if he can become a coordinator somewhere.
- Falcons restricted free agent Ryan Schraeder may require more than a second-round tender to keep after a dominant third season, McClure writes. A first-team All-Pro right tackle, according to Pro Football Focus, Schraeder receiving the second-round tender would cost the Falcons $2.47MM but would allow another team to sign him while surrendering only a second-round pick. An ex-UDFA, Schraeder made $585K last season. “Atlanta has given me an opportunity,” Schraeder told McClure. “I felt like I’ve tried to make the most out of it. Whatever happens in the future, happens. But I know deep down inside that I can play in this league. My agent [Joel and Justin Turner], I feel like I have the best agents in the business. They’ll handle a lot of that. And I’ll probably give them some input.” A first-round tender cost a team $3.354MM last year.
- The Lions fired senior vice president of football operations Cedric Saunders, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. Saunders joined the Lions 10 years ago under Matt Millen and began overseeing the Lions’ budget with regards to personnel under Martin Mayhew. He’s one of several executives to be ousted since new GM Bob Quinn‘s arrival.
- The Giants‘ ideal free agent targets, in the mind of NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan, should be Olivier Vernon, Danny Trevathan and Tashaun Gipson. Big Blue’s defense risks losing its most accomplished players this offseason in Prince Amukamara and Jason Pierre-Paul, although Raanan tabs Amukamara as having a “better than 50% chance” of staying, and hasn’t had much luck fortifying its defense with talent through the draft. Gipson went through a contentious stretch with the Browns last summer as a restricted free agent, and Trevathan faces a long road back to Denver next season due to potential eight-figure AAV players the Broncos have yet to sign in Von Miller and Brock Osweiler.