Colin Kaepernick trade rumors continue to create a lot of attention. The latest Kaepernick trade talk comes directly from San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, who decided to address some of the speculation that has taken place. A report from CBS Sports quoted Baalke, who spoke at the NFL owners meeting this week. What he said about Kaepernick and a possible trade to the Cleveland Browns or Denver Broncos might not answer as many questions as it could create before the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a primary component of the Colin Kaepernick trade rumors is that the quarterback has requested to be dealt. The 49ers have him under contract through the 2020 season, though, giving Kaepernick and his agent very little to work with. After hiring Chip Kelly as the new head coach, it was also reported that the 49ers began shopping Kaepernick around the league. That included what appeared to be a deal with the Browns that was close to taking place. Now Baalke has something to say about it all.
“I’ve had discussions with several teams and it’s gone no further than that, as [Kaepernick’s] agents have had several discussions [with teams]. We’re nowhere near getting anything done at this point. Our intent was for him to be back and to go to work. The more important thing is what our expectations are of the player. He’s under contract and unless, or until that changes, our expectations don’t change.”
Translating the latest entry in the Colin Kaepernick trade chatter, this means the San Francisco 49ers haven’t received an offer worth taking. Baalke did state that under no circumstances would Chip Kelly cut Kaepernick, showing that the team does still value its former starting quarterback. It also underscores how the team doesn’t want to fall back on Blaine Gabbert as it did during the 2015 NFL season.
Colin Kaepernick’s base salary for the 2016 NFL season becomes fully guaranteed on April 1. It is part of a contract that was heavily in favor of the organization when Kaepernick decided to sign it. In the long-term contract, Kaepernick has base salaries of $11.9 million, $14.5 million, $15 million, and $16.8 million over the next four years. It also provides roster bonuses of $2 million each season beginning in 2017 as well as workout bonuses of $400,000 through the duration of the deal. For the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick has a salary cap hit of $7.4 million whether he is on the 49ers or not.
So what happens next in this situation? It certainly isn’t going to quiet down the Colin Kaepernick trade rumors, especially when so many teams are still looking for another quarterback. The Denver Broncos traded for quarterback Mark Sanchez as a stop-gap option, but the team could still have interest in making a trade. Then there are the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that continues to have serious problems with finding someone consistent at the position. Finally, there are the Los Angeles Rams, as head coach Jeff Fisher tries to get his team back on track for a playoff run.
Over his five-year NFL career, Kaepernick has played in 57 games for the San Francisco 49ers, starting 47 of them. He has a record of 27-20 as a starter, with a 59.9 completion percentage, and 88.4 combined quarterback rating. Kaepernick has thrown for 10,030 yards, 56 touchdowns, and has had 26 interceptions during that time. Despite posting a 12-4 record in the 2013 NFL season, his record as a starting quarterback slipped to just 2-6 in the 2015 NFL season.
There is certainly a ticking clock on Kaepernick’s contract, but it now appears that Trent Baalke has resigned to him being on the roster through that April 1 deadline. It would give Kaepernick a guaranteed salary for the 2016 NFL season at a rate that is still affordable for another team to acquire. What Baalke and owner Jed York seem to be banking on is that the Cleveland Browns could become desperate and increase any Colin Kaepernick trade offer before the NFL Draft begins. Is he worth a second or third-round pick?
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