The 49ers season may have ended back in January, but they have dominated the offseason so far.
First it was regarding the contract status of Colin Kaepernick and then about the supposed head coaches “act has worn thin”. Now, we’ve come full circle.
On Sunday, The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reported that the 49ers and Kaepernick had began discussions on a new contract extension in which the signal caller was seeking a deal similar to those of Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler and Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo.
Their deals were similar in numbers- $18 million a season with $38-40 million guaranteed.
About a month ago, I wrote a piece about where Kaepernick stood during his contract talks, and it seems the numbers were very similar to what Ben Volin later reported on.
During the offseason, Kaepernick’s contract has gone down three separate roads, each interesting in their own way.
The first road, the one that carries the most risk, is to simply let Colin play out his contract. This has been talked about by several writers, the idea being that if Kaepernick has a down season, the 49ers won’t be locked into a long term deal the way a team like Atlanta or Baltimore might be with their franchise QBs.
The downside of course is that if the 49ers were to win the Super Bowl next season, that $18 million now could become $22 million a year next season, which is what Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers currently makes. Think of it now as a discount.
The second road is one that could create a rift between the QB and front office. Down this road, the 49ers would let Kaepernick play out his current contract (about $1 million) and hope for an extension during the 2015 offseason. If none is done, then the 49ers could slap the “Franchise Tag” on Kap, which in the end, would pay him around $19-20 million for the 2015 season. This scenario is one that doesn’t place a lot of faith in a QB that has been solid since taking over the starting gig back in 2012.
It’s the kind of move that could create a scenario that would result in the departure of Kaepernick after the 2015 season when he turns just 28 years old.
The third road is the most logical road of all- sign Colin Kaepernick to the long term deal he rightfully deserves. A 6-year deal at $18 million a season with $35-40 in guaranteed money ensures that San Francisco has their QB in place for the next half dozen years. The deal could impact the resigning of current 49ers like Michael Crabtree and Mike Iupati and could attract free agents down the road.
Three roads diverged in a yellow wood, here’s hoping the 49ers take the one that leads to franchise stability at one of the most coveted positions in professional football.