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Colin Kaepernick restructured contract is big bet on 2017 free agency pay day

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has regularly shown confidence in his ability. His potential new deal would seemingly follow in that.

The San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick are close to reaching an agreement on a contract restructure, according to Ian Rapoport. The NFL Network reporter tweeted that a reworked deal could be done as soon as Friday. Rapoport tweeted that it would eliminate the 2017 guarantees, cut off the final three years of the deal, and provide Kaepernick with the option to void the deal after the 2016 season.

There is no word of the restructure including any additional up-front money. My initial thought was he would want something like that in return. In reality, Colin Kaepernick is clearly placing a sizable wager on himself.

It is possible the 49ers told Kaepernick he would not play so long as he had the huge injury guarantee. Chip Kelly said that did not impact his QB decision, but considering the timing of this news, it’s hard to buy that at this point.

For Kaepernick, this would seem to be a heavy bet on himself. He has never been short of confidence, and his original long-term deal was also a bet on his abilities. He likely sees himself healthy enough to get out there and make things happen. If he can put together a strong run over some stretch of the final 11 games of the season, he would be in position for a huge pay day in free agency. Whether he can finish strong or not remains to be seen, but he clearly has some measure of confidence in himself.

Furthermore, he knows that the other option was to be RG3’d and benched the rest of the season before getting cut in the spring. If that happened, it would be a season and a half since his last regular season playing time. He could sign somewhere in the offseason, but it would be for significantly less than if he can put together a good 11 or so weeks of play. It probably would not get him another $100 million contract, but he could cash in big next offseason.

It is entirely possible he plays better than Gabbert, well enough to not be cut, but not well enough to leave and get a bigger pay day. My guess is Kap wants out no matter what, but there is always the chance we see him in red and gold for one more year after this. In that case, he gets another year to figure things out, and then this likely all comes to a close. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported that 49ers sources were telling him Kaepernick would get the start in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills. This report came shortly before Rapoport’s report about the restructured contract, and I am guessing that is not a coincidence.

The 49ers next media availability is Tuesday, with coordinators and the locker room available. The starting quarterback normally speaks on Wednesday. Kaepernick has spoken on Tuesdays thus far this season, primarily discussing issues surrounding his protest. I guess we’ll see what next week’s quarterback availability brings!