Fooch’s update: The 49ers confirmed to the beat writers that the deal is done.
The San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick have agreed to terms on a restructured contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adam Caplan. As expected, the contract has removed the final four seasons and provides Kaepernick a chance to get out of it after this season.
ESPN is reporting the deal is a one-year deal with a player option to extend it in 2017, and it removes the injury guarantees from his deal. The 2016 value remains the same, although Schefter did not clarify if the roster bonuses were converted into guaranteed salary as had previously been reported. Kaepernick is due $11.9 million in base salary, $2 million in roster bonuses, and $400,000 in workout bonuses. He has already earned the workout bonus and five game checks and roster bonuses. The remainder of his 2016 salary is fully guaranteed due to being on the roster Week 1.
Fooch’s update: Ian Rapoport confirmed the roster bonuses have become base salary. Additionally, he is reporting there is a bonus triggered at 50 percent playing time. If he starts most of the remaining 11 games, he would trigger that bonus.
Where this gets interesting is ESPN reporting the 49ers will NOT be allowed to use their franchise tag on Kaepernick if the quarterback elects to become a free agent after the season. Given the state of the relationship between Kaepernick and the 49ers front office, that would seem to significantly increase the odds he leaves after this season. Of course, if he and Chip Kelly can turn things around for this offense in the coming weeks, maybe he decides to stay. If he has a strong season, he’ll almost assuredly decline the option and become a free agent. He might return, he might not. We’ll see what these final 11 weeks bring.
ESPN also said the two sides “have spent months” working on some kind of fix to the contract. Schefter is reporting it dates back to the 49ers trade conversations with the Broncos. Chip Kelly has denied Kaepernick’s lack of playing time has anything to do with his contract. Kelly has control of the game-day roster and lineup decisions, but in light of getting this deal done, it is easy to be skeptical.