There has been plenty of blame to go around surrounding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Some think Kap has reached his ceiling. Others think he's just struggling through a rough patch. Still others blame the offensive line. And others blame Jed York and Trent Baalke. I think most will blame a mix of these factors, but you get the idea.
Evaluating 49ers offense through first quarter
With the first quarter of the 2015 season in the books, it's time to take a step back and see where the 49ers stand in the big picture, starting with the offense.
Earlier this week, Boomer Esiason had some strong comments on Inside the NFL. You can watch the segment here (which includes a fantastic Al Davis impersonation by Phil Simms). If you can't watch it, Esiason tore into the 49ers front office ownership. He had this to say:
Trent Baalke and Jed York have turned Colin Kaepernick into RGIII. They basically ruined him right now, and you fire Jim Harbaugh, you lose Greg Roman who is the offensive coordinator up in Buffalo. You see what Tyrod Taylor is doing. You ruined your quarterback, your $126 million investment. It is a disgrace what's going on there.
Jason Cole chatted with Jed York at the owner's meetings earlier this week. It is not surprising York told him the team would be patient with him, and thinks he has all the tools necessary to be their long-term option at quarterback.
It has only been four games, but the 49ers will eventually have to make a decision by April as to what to do with Kap's contract. His contract has injury guarantees right now, but the 2016 salary does not become fully guaranteed until April 1. If he turns things around, it makes sense for him to be around next season. But if this team continues to struggle, and it appears the team has a shot at a high first round pick, the team might decide it wants to blow things up.
The media critiques in this discussion will be interesting to follow. Bay Area Sports Guy brought up some good points about certain members of the local media turning on Kap. The idea being that York and Baalke would not say anything publicly to undermine their quarterback, but we might hear their opinions in the form of media members who are potentially dependent on the team for employment. Ted Robinson is the example Steve brings up. 49ers radio analyst Tim Ryan went in on Kap earlier this week, and it sounds like others are as well.
This is not to say that Kap does not deserve criticism, but we must always consider the people doing the criticizing, and what kind of skin they have in the game. This has been a frequent point from Tim Kawakami. People that are close to York and the organization can potentially serve as the mouthpiece if others do not want to get their hands dirty. We can never know anything with certainty, particularly when Kap is so obviously struggling. But it is something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks and months. We might very well get some foreshadowing as to the 49ers plans for Kap this coming offseason.