San Francisco 49ers: Possible Cap Casualties in 2016
By Peter Panacy
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick2015 Statistics
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s future in San Francisco seemed to be a bit more secure following general manager Trent Baalke’s comments at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, as noted by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.
But, by no means, should this indicate the 49ers are going to retain their former star quarterback this season or beyond.
During the press conference, Baalke indicated he was happy with the two starting-caliber quarterbacks (the other being Blaine Gabbert) currently on the Niners roster. But he was also willing to explore any and all options.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News summed up what this means.
In short, the 49ers are keeping as many choices as possible at the time being. Kaepernick’s guaranteed salary for 2016 would go into effect on April 1, so Baalke has some time to evaluate any and all situations including prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.
Kaepernick’s $15.891 cap hit in 2016 would just to well over $19 million in each of the three years afterward — high numbers for a potential backup even if there are various escalators and de-escalators worked into the contract’s verbiage.
So, if at any point this offseason, the Niners feel as if Kaepernick will no longer be “their guy” under center, it would make all-too much sense for the team to part ways with Kap sooner rather than later.
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There is the chance head coach Chip Kelly helps turn Kaepernick’s career around after what was a forgettable 2015 campaign. And there’s also a chance Kelly values Gabbert’s skill set — or that of a rookie signal-caller — over what Kap brings to the table.
It’s all up for speculation at this point.
Still, Kaepernick’s future remains uncertain regardless of Baalke’s comments. And the embattled quarterback could still wind up being elsewhere when Week 1 of the 2016 season rolls around.
Next: GM Trent Baalke States QB Colin Kaepernick Will Be on 49ers Roster in 2016
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated. Contractual information courtesy of Over the Cap.