There is a deal in place that would send Colin Kaepernick to the Denver Broncos, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but haggling over the salary of the quarterback has kept the San Francisco 49ers from pulling the trigger. While Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk called it a "real stretch" to say that a deal has been reached between the two teams, Schefter says "it would take two seconds" if the two teams can agree which one will pay Kaepernick's $11.9 million salary.
Denver has offered to pay $7 million of the salary, but the remaining $4.9 million is reportedly the sticking point. The Broncos don't want to pay the rest and want the 49ers to front some of the bill, while San Francisco doesn't want to spend money on a player it trades away.
The Broncos made a push to try and get the young quarterback at the end of March, as Kaepernick and John Elway met on Thursday, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Kaepernick asked the 49ers for a trade and his agents received permission to seek one. An early report said that the 49ers and Broncos have decided on the compensation, and restructuring the quarterback's contract is the task at hand now. But it's been some time since that early report, and a lot has happened, including Kaepernick getting his base salary guaranteed for 2016 even if he is traded. The only way to prevent his 2016 team from paying him $11.9 million in base salary is to re-do his contract.
Kaepernick has had an odd career trajectory thus far, and what happens next is one if the more interesting questions of the offseason. Kaepernick was the quarterback of the future for the 49ers, and when Jim Harbaugh made the switch from Alex Smith to him, he quickly became the franchise quarterback of the present.
Kaepernick was explosive and dangerous, and that served the 49ers well for a couple seasons, until things started to unravel in 2014, Harbaugh's final season with the franchise. It only got much, much worse from there. Jim Tomsula took over as head coach and Kaepernick's quarterbacks coach from his down 2014 season, Geep Chryst, became his offensive coordinator.
The result was disastrous. Kaepernick hardly looked like he'd be able to find success in college, let alone the NFL, and completely regressed at fundamental aspects of playing the position. He was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert and the rumors suggested Kaepernick's relationship with the 49ers was fractured.
But then the team brought in Chip Kelly, perhaps one of the only coaches in the league who could possibly rehabilitate Kaepernick and use him properly. Now things are interesting. Kaepernick has a high cap hit, is coming off a bad year and nobody knows for certain whether the 49ers want him or if he wants them. Enter the rumors!
Rumors and News
April 3: While the Broncos are willing to take on $7 million of Kaepernick's salary, the team wants the 49ers to pick up the last $4.9 million, according to Adam Schefter.
April 2: Reports of a deal in principle already in place are "a real stretch," according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos and 49ers have a trade agreement in place, but Denver wants a restructured contract first. According to Schefter, the two sides "have not been close" in contract negotiations, but there is still hope that a deal can get done.
Kaepernick met with John Elway at the latter's house in the Denver area on Thursday, according to Eric Branch of the NFL Network.
March 29: The 49ers plan on keeping on Kaepernick unless they are "blown away" with a trade offer, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
March 17: Benjamin Allbright reported that a source "firmly believes" a deal will get done that sends Kaepernick to the Broncos, and that the only factor is time.
Despite all of the reported interest in Kaepernick from the Browns, Broncos and Jets, it's very possible he will stay put in San Francisco.
March 14: Things are still proceeding slowly for a potential trade. The Broncos are holding firm on their offer of a fourth-round pick, although the Broncos only have a fourth round compensatory pick this year, and compensatory picks cannot be traded. The Browns have made no "movement", according to Mike Silver of the NFL Network. Other reports suggested both teams were talking with Kaepernick about restructuring his contract and its unclear if that's still happening.
March 11: If the 49ers can't work out a trade, they are prepared to retain Kaepernick and have him compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting role next season, according to NFL.com.
March 11: If the landing spot was up to Kaepernick, he might choose Cleveland as his next home. According to Adam Schefter, he respects Hue Jackson and wants to play for the Browns.
March 10: On NFL Total Access on Thursday, Mike Silver said that the 49ers and Broncos have figured out compensation for a trade but that the Broncos were trying to restructure Kaepernick's contract before a deal was in place.
March 10: Now that the Broncos lost Osweiler, Kaepernick is the top priority, but the team hasn't been able to strike a deal with the 49ers. Denver isn't helped by the fact that the Browns and Jets are also in the running for Kaepernick, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, although it's still the Broncos in the lead.
Feb. 28: If Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco, the Browns and Texans would reportedly be interested in trading for him, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain refutes the Texans' interest, though, and Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot says the Browns aren't interested in Kaepernick, either.
Feb. 25: Kelly wants Kaepernick to compete for the starting job and this situation "won't end quickly."
Feb. 25: Kaepernick's agents have requested permission to seek a trade.
Feb. 25: Kaepernick's contract is"not tradeable."
Feb. 24: 49ers GM Trent Baalke said he "absolutely" expects Kaepernick to be on the roster on April 1
Feb. 3: "A trade remains very likely."
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