Now that the San Francisco 49ers have benched quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the leaks are only picking up speed. Previously we heard reports about Kap's being "on an island" in the locker room. That was followed by reports of scuffles regarding the quarterback, and Vernon Davis being among those concerned about Kap wearing his headphones and generally not interacting a lot with teammates.
On Friday, Kap was the subject of a couple different reports regarding his benching. Mike Freeman wrote up a piece on Kap's situation, seemingly from a Kap-friendly angle (no pun intended). It talks about Kap being betrayed by the 49ers. When Kap signed his deal, the idea was that taking a low signing bonus would open the door for the 49ers to spend some money re-signing their own players. He said as much back in 2014, and there were plenty of sources saying that was the plan. It's really just further proof that players should look out for themselves when it comes to contract negotiating. Never trust the front office when it comes to your money, and just get what you can.
Freeman's piece is a bit odd in that it talks about Kap's rolling guarantees and low signing bonus as if Freeman had broken some significant news. We reported on all this a year ago when the deal was first signed. That being said, Freeman did have one piece of new information. In light of the "on an island" talk, and Lowell Cohn calling Kap one of the most arrogant, rude athletes he had every covered, we get an anonymous quote calling Kap incredibly shy, and describing him as more of an introvert.
The introvert stuff is not surprising, and in fact is something plenty have discussed before. Introverts can be confused with being a bit arrogant or potentially obtuse to some degree. In reality, it's just a different kind of personality that some people seem to be too lazy to learn about.
Later on Friday, Albert Breer had a report talking about Kap's reliance on Geep Chryst.
As multiple sources recounted it, Geep Chryst, now the team's offensive coordinator, was often on shaky ground as Harbaugh's quarterbacks coach. In fact, on two occasions, the Niners were close to reassigning to him to another position. What saved Chryst? As it turns out, the quarterback he just benched. Colin Kaepernick, according to those who were there, went to bat for Chryst to stick as his position coach, and Harbaugh and Co. listened, in the name of keeping the quarterback happy. One source says that Kaepernick "begged" Harbaugh not to move Chryst. Then, when the Niners were having trouble finding a coordinator to replace Greg Roman on Jim Tomsula's staff, Kaepernick's affection for Chryst played into the decision to promote him. The underlying theme here: The Niners' actions over the last couple years indicate that they were, indeed, all in on trying to get Kap turned around.
This report comes a day after Geep Chryst was quick to point out that the 49ers offensive lineup is dealing with some deficiencies this year. He talked about how Kap came in to a lineup that had a lot of great pieces in place, and a lot of those pieces are now gone. Given what Breer reported, I imagine the 49ers front office wanted to get out with some information of their own to counter Chryst covering his and Kap's respective butts.
This whole situation is such a mess. People are leaking information every which way to make someone look better or worse. The 49ers have become a train wreck of a football team, and these leaks are just more of an example of it. There's a pitched battle going on over getting the right message out. We've got Colin Kaepernick (and his people), Geep Chryst, and the 49ers front office/ownership all putting out whatever message they can. It's embarrassing as this organization goes further and further down the drain.