The San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick were reported on Friday to be close to hammering out a restructured contract that would remove the injury guarantees. Ian Rapoport was first to report on it, with Matt Barrows the first to then report it would turn the contract into a two-year deal.
The reports of a contract restructure led to the logical conclusion that Kaepernick would be moving into the starting lineup sooner rather than later. Rapoport was back on Sunday discussing some of the factors in play with regard to the QB situation.
- The injury guarantees
- Getting Kaepernick back to necessary playing weight (although a source told Rapoport that Kaepernick’s arm strength is there)
- Potential locker room issues
On that last issue, Rapoport said it is not an issue at this point. He said players would not be surprised by a change, and while there is not an outspoken movement to start Kaepernick, the offense is struggling enough with consistency that any move would almost be change for change’s sake:
As one source explained, "It's not like Kaepernick is outplaying Blaine in practice. It's basically the same. Both make some throws, miss some throws. It's not like players are saying, 'We need this guy.'"
That’s not always the best reason to make a change, but Rapoport’s report suggest it’s sort of a, “well, why not?” type of thing. And yes, that is not an inspiring state of affairs for this team and what it might accomplish this season.
It seems like much of this is predicated on the 49ers and Kaepernick actually getting this contract restructure done. When the report first surfaced, there was a belief that the deal had been offered to Kaepernick, but there was no word on what Kaepernick and his team thought about it. We don’t know who asked about this first, so we don’t know where exactly things stood in the context of negotiating all this. My guess is the 49ers leaked this first because we’ve learned over the past two years that this organization can leak like a sieve. Now, we have to wait for further leaks, or official word once a deal gets done.