A day after San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke told Bay Area reporters that quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be on the team’s roster on April 1, the quarterback’s representatives have asked the team for a trade according the NFL Network.
Source: Kaepernick's agents have requested permission from the team to seek a trade.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) February 25, 2016
April 1 is a key date for Kaepernick, as that is when his $11.9 million base salary becomes guaranteed. Kaepernick’s salary cap number is even more inflated at $15.9 million.
Kaepernick had an awful 2015 campaign, struggling most of the season and also dealing with injuries. Kaepernick, who appeared in just nine games this past season, finished the year as the backup to Blaine Gabbert. San Francisco finished the season at 5-11.
Kaepernick completed just 59 percent of he passes (144-of-244) for 1, 615 yards along with six touchdowns and five interceptions. The 28-year old’s 6.62 yards to per pass, QBR of 47.1 and Rating of 78.5 were all career lows.
It will be an interesting next couple of months — and maybe longer — for Kaepernick. To seek a trade and keep his guaranteed money he needs permission from the 49ers, which currently has not happened yet. Further, new San Francisco head coach Chip Kelly wants Kaepernick to compete for the starting quarterback job with Gabbert according to Ian Rapport of NFL.
Chip Kelly wants him to compete for the QB job. ... This won't end quickly. https://t.co/iccIvEOM7i— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2016
Gabbert, the No.10 overall pick in 2011, did an admirable job last season after taking over the starting job. The 26-year-old had three games where he threw for at least 295 yards, but had trouble with interceptions, throwing seven picks. He finished the season completing a career best 63.1 percent of his passes (178-of-282) for 2,031 yards along with 10 touchdowns.
Dylan Thompson is the only other quarterback on the 49ers roster, however, he was just activated to the active roster on November 21, 2015. Thompson went undrafted out of South Carolina last year and has yet to throw a NFL regular season pass. However, the Niners do plan on scouring the free agent market for a quarterback and there are a few options.
Sam Bradford is expected to become an unrestricted free agent; he played for Kelly in Philadelphia last season, and Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen has said Robert Griffin III will not be back with the franchise. Kirk Cousins and Brock Osweiler are also scheduled to be free agents but it is unlikely they will leave, Washington and Denver, respectively.
San Francisco has the No. 7 pick in the upcoming 2016 draft and there are a few top signal callers available. Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), Jared Goff (California), Paxton Lynch (Memphis), Connor Cook (Michigan State) and Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) are the top quarterbacks in the draft.
So, what will happen with Kappernick?
He will likely be dealt as CBS Jason La Canfora tweeted.
I believe it was back in Nov. when I first reported on the virtually unavoidable divorce between the 49ers and Kap. Major upset if he's back— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 26, 2016
The Sacramento Bee believes Kaepernick will end up with an AFC team. Denver, Buffalo, Cleveland, New York Jets and Houston are potential landing spots.
Denver currently has three quarterbacks on its roster with Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian. Manning may retire, Osweiler is a free agent and is still relatively unknown while Siemian, who was the Broncos seventh round choice last year, has not thrown a regular season pass.
Buffalo is exploring the possibility of extending quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Josh Johnson is scheduled to be a free agent and the Bills must decide whether or not to exercise E.J. Manuel for a fifth year.
Cleveland will likely draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. The Browns won’t have Johnny Manziel, but 36-year-old Josh McCown along with Austin Davis. Pat Devil and Connor Shaw are still on the roster.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a free agent and he is 33-years-old, so the Jets are a realistic possibility. New York also has Geno Smith and 2015 fourth round pick Bryce Petty is seen as a promising prospect with lots of upside.
Houston may have the worst quarterback situation among the five teams as they have journey men Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden as their top two current quarterbacks followed by T.J.Yates, B.J. Daniels and Tom Savage.
[Photo by Ben Margot/Associated Press]