In the 24 hours since Colin Kaepernick agreed to a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers, we've seen a whiplash effect on the value of the contract. Here are some of the media tweets in the hours after the extension was first announced.
Cam Newton approves of Kaepernick's deal. pic.twitter.com/s4egbzmVit— Kami Mattioli (@kmattio) June 4, 2014
Russell Wilson is smiling right now.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 4, 2014
CK possesses that unique quality that few QBs have: Ability to score on every single play, regardless of down or distance.— Dylan MacNamara (@DylanMacNamara) June 4, 2014
The 49ers did what every team I've ever been around has done: overpay for a young QB star.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) June 4, 2014
Really, San Francisco. Really?— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) June 4, 2014
The best part about these tweets is the fact that a lot of people changed their tune on Thursday to criticize Kap for potentially leaving money on the table. They decided Kap's agents had not done enough and had been duped by the 49ers. It is certainly a team-friendly deal, but that does not mean anybody was necessarily duped on the deal.
This led to a pair of interesting tweets from Jim Trotter:
I'm told Kaepernick knew his contract's structure benefitted team, but was willing to bet on himself & take less to keep talent around him.— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) June 5, 2014
Kaepernick and the 49ers discussed in detail BEFOREHAND what the structure of the deal would mean for BOTH sides. He was good with it.— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) June 5, 2014
In his post-extension press conference, Kap indicated the contract was written so the team could sign additional players. The first year has a really low cap number, but as Pro Football Talk initially pointed out, the way it allows the team to sign additional players is because it is not really a maximum value contract. Kap has some sizable cap figures, but as the salary cap increases, his numbers will become more reasonable. It will remain the largest numbers on the 49ers books, but not so awful compared to where they could be.
As people are quick to criticize Kap and his agents, I have to wonder if this was simply a case of taking one for the team. Kap knew he could have potentially gotten more, but maybe he just decided he did not want the max amount. I could be proven wrong on this, but it makes sense. Here's one particularly excellent tweet about it:
Sometimes people just don't fit stereotype the media wants to portray. @Kaepernick7 is one of those guys. Makes it inconvenient for them.— Stuart Wexler (@jomolungma) June 5, 2014
Maybe, just maybe, Kap isn't your normal professional athlete. We'll see how this plays out between now and 2020. Maybe we see some demands for renegotiation. Or maybe it just gets played out with some mutually agreed re-structuring down the road. Who knows, but obviously that won't stop "hot take" specialists from spewing their venom.