Stepping back on the sports beat for an update of the San Francisco soap opera of “Will Colin Kaepernick Finally Find Happiness Somewhere in the NFL?” After playing “should-he-stay-or-should-he-go” for most of the off-season, the Niners neither cut nor traded Kaepernick and guaranteed his $11 million salary. A few days later trade talks heated up again with the Denver Broncos. The hold-up this time is the Broncos only want to pay $7 million of Kap’s salary and want the Niners to pick up the rest. The Niners don’t see why they should have to pay a player who wants to leave.
I don’t either, but I really don’t care anymore. The Niners are going to stink either way, so whether Kap stays or goes, it’s not going to make a bad team good and the 49ers are very bad. They’ve gone from a huge success under Jim Harbaugh to a NFL dead zone under GM Trent Balike and owner John-Boy York.
After last season’s 17-week shitshow, for the first time in eight years of blogging I said nothing about the 2015 edition of San Francisco 49ers, the NFL’s long-running soap opera. This off-season is no exception. There’s an excellent chance by this time tomorrow, Kaepernick will be on his way out of the city by the bay to become Payton Manning’s replacement as the quarterback of the Broncos.
Whoopie-damn-do. Stay or go. Does it even matter? The Niners would probably be better with Kap than without it, but nobody wants to keep an unhappy employee around and especially one who’s been angling for a ticket out-of-town for months now.
Even if he stays, there’s a good chance Kap could still be moved if the 49ers draft a qb in next month’s NFL draft. Because he’s maintained a stony silence, nobody knows for certain what he wants to do. Personally, I believe there were two teams he was best suited for: the Browns with Hue Jackson and the Eagles, before Chip Kelly was fired and became the Niners coach.
The 49ers set the price high on Kap based on his past performance, not how awful he’s been for the past two seasons. Nobody was going to give up a 2nd round pick for him, but the Broncos offering a 4th round pick they didn’t even have was a joke and then a 5th was a bad joke.
The Browns made a better offer, but they wanted Kap to take a big pay cut and he balked at that. There’s no upside going from one bad team to another bad team. The Browns are probably better off with RGIII. He’s another QB whose career was once brimming with potential, but he got injured and went to war with his coach and teammates and lost badly. How many fallen stars does any team really need on the roster? At least Griffin’s not coming off a lousy season and still recovering from surgery.
Kaepernick and his agents gambled their was a hot market out there for his services and could bluff the 49ers into dealing him away. Problem was the team had no incentive to give him away for nothing. The Niners started asking for a high price for damaged goods, negotiated it down to a lower price and walked away from the Browns and Broncos when they couldn’t get the deal they wanted. Donald Trump would approve. Stuck with nowhere to go, Kaepernick’s refusal to take less than the $11 million he had guaranteed was the only smart decision he’s made.
These days $11 million is a lot for a backup, not for a starter. Even now, I’m sure Kap can beat out Blaine Gabbert. Not that the team is any better since they did nothing in free agency. This is a last place team and will continue to be for some time.
It would be nice if Kaepernick realized the best place to revitalize his career is right where he’s at. It would be nice if Chip Kelly could take that rocket arm, that mobility, that athleticism and add some touch, some ability to read defenses, check down to available receivers and the other things Kaepernick should be proficient at by now.
He isn’t and I wonder if he ever will be. If Kaepernick doesn’t want to try to resuscitate his career with the 49ers, it’s probably going to have to be in Denver or nowhere. There’s just not a lot of other teams beating down the doors to trade for a guy who looks like he’s been badly rattled and lost all his confidence.