On Sunday, as the San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their season, there was plenty of chatter about Jim Harbaugh's impending departure, and how players reacted to it. There was plenty of post-game reaction from players, but obviously the most notable would belong to 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Jim Harbaugh was the impetus behind Kap's selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, and was one of Kap's biggest supporters. Naturally, people would want to know what Kap had to say.
During the game, FOX Sports sideline reporter Laura Okmin talked about her production meeting with Kap. He was effusive in his praise, talking about how Harbaugh was behind him from the beginning, and stood up for him during the sexual assault false accusation. Naturally, Kap is a big supporter of Harbaugh.
On January 1, Pro Football Talk put together an article titled, "49ers could have a new problem with Kaepernick". The article talks about the Okmin report, but uses it primarily to suggest that Kap and Harbaugh might have discussed the way the outgoing coach was treated in terms of the leaks, and that a new coach might not want Kap as his quarterback. There is no "a source close to the situation said", or really anything to suggest someone has spoken to Kap about these issues.
When I read content from Pro Football Talk that is analysis or speculation, and not hard news, I generally look at it in one of two ways. If it is legal analysis, I assume it is somewhat Florio's opinion. However, with that and with any sort of blind speculation, I am generally going to assume that someone is influencing Florio's opinion. I am sure he has his own opinions, but frequently it seems like he is simply serving as a conduit for the agenda of his sources. Whether it be Drew Rosenhaus or other agents trying to get stuff out there, or his NFL sources wanting to push their side of things, this has been an issue with Florio during Pro Football Talk's run.
A recent example of this is the December 23 article about Paraag Marathe potentially reuniting with Jim Harbaugh wherever he ended up after the 49ers. Tim Kawakami and others laughed at this notion, and given the incredibly random nature of it, one has to wonder who was trying to take some heat off relationships. The random timing of it was almost similar in nature to that of this Kap article.
The question with regard to this Kap story is what would be the agenda. It is possible Florio is just stirring up some [site decorum] because it will generate some clicks. However, I do wonder if it is more than that. The 49ers will be changing coaches, following a season in which the entire offense struggled to do much of anything. If the 49ers think that there is a chance Kap will not progress at the rate they would like, they very well could decide after 2015 that they want to go in a new direction at quarterback. Kap's contract is structure to make it fairly easy to release him after each season.
If this was someone giving the story to Florio, it is not a simple matter of saying it is Person X, Y or Z. Jed York, Paraag Marathe and Trent Baalke are the three most powerful people in the 49ers organization. You could make cases for and against all three deciding to push this story. But in the bigger picture, the who does not really matter. The organization embarrassed itself with the leaks this past year, so it is hard to give them the benefit of the doubt when random stories like this pop up. This is more about my anger at how unprofessional things have seemed this year
Some will say it is not fair to make these assumptions, but given what we saw, read and heard the last nine months, it is hard to not make assumptions. I could very well just be paranoid, but the fact that this organization has put fans in this situation to doubt them bugs me more than anything else. I just want to be able to enjoy some quality football, and instead we are left with this [site decorum] [site decorum].