San Francisco 49ers rumors indicate Chip Kelly has been given control of Colin Kaepernick. These 49ers rumors have the final decision of whether Kaepernick returns to the team resting squarely in the hands of Kelly. A report from CBS Sports examined the issue, noting that Kelly doesn’t actually hold the general manager responsibilities with his new team. Still, the San Francisco 49ers have apparently placed the final decision about Kaepernick with Kelly, giving the new head coach the final say when it comes to trading, releasing, or starting him.
Numerous 49ers rumors have dealt with Colin Kaepernick during the NFL offseason. There have been hints that Kaepernick could get traded to the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, or even the Houston Texans. No action has been taken yet and the teams are getting very close to the 2016 NFL Draft. It is at that point where the 49ers will no longer have many options when it comes to Kaepernick. The clock is ticking and now Chip Kelly has to make an important decision about the future of the franchise.
An important component of these new San Francisco 49ers rumors is that Colin Kaepernick’s base salary for the 2016 NFL season becomes fully guaranteed on April 1. If Kaepernick is still with the 49ers on April 2, then he will have a guaranteed base salary of $11.9 million with the team. This was something that the 49ers worked into his contract extension to serve as an insurance policy. It allows the 49ers to continue looking for a replacement at quarterback, but still provides the freedom to just settle on Kaepernick in the end.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Colin Kaepernick has already requested that the San Francisco 49ers trade him this offseason. It seemed as though the 49ers were really close to granting him that wish, as a trade with the Cleveland Browns was in place. The Browns weren’t willing to give up a high enough draft pick to acquire Kaepernick and the negotiations fizzled a bit. If Chip Kelly decides that Kaepernick isn’t his man now, the 49ers might just take up the Browns on that previous offer.
Further expounding upon the recent San Francisco 49ers rumors, it is reportedly owner Jed York who has left the final decision in the hands of Chip Kelly. It’s a bold move by the owner to pass up the general manager and give Kelly the ultimate control. This is what many NFL analysts said the problem was for Kelly when he served as the head coach and general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. Rather than move ahead with the roster he inherited, Kelly brought in a new cast of players before getting himself fired.
Kaepernick has very little say in how his future looks, as he signed a long-term contract with the 49ers that runs through the 2020 NFL season. Kaepernick has base salaries of $11.9 million, $14.5 million, $15 million, and $16.8 million over the next four years. He also has roster bonuses of $2 million each season beginning in 2017 as well as workout bonuses of $400,000 through the duration of the deal. Even if the 49ers and Kelly decide to trade Kaepernick during the NFL offseason, his contract will count as about $7.4 million against the salary cap.
So what is Chip Kelly going to do with all the power that Jed York has given him? It’s possible that the franchise has been playing it coy during free agency to try to land players that will help the team compete during the 2016 NFL season. Barring any big signings, though, the San Francisco 49ers don’t appear ready to keep pace with the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. That could dictate a Colin Kaepernick trade to take place to allow the team to completely rebuild through the 2016 NFL Draft.
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