If Colin Kaepernick sticks with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, it will have a whole lot more to do with another team being unwilling to take on his $11.9 million base salary for next season than it does Kaepernick's desire to actually remain with the franchise. He's been described as disillusioned with the team, something that 49ers fans themselves have likely felt since the waning days of the short-lived Jim Harbaugh era.
But I do want to point out one thing in particular, relating to yesterday's report that Kaepernick's agents have formally requested permission to seek a trade away from the team. That is this: there are realistic differences between the desire to find a more suitable destination for oneself and the outright rejection of one's current team.
That is to say, it makes sense for Kaepernick, who has every right to be disillusioned with the franchise, to want to pursue greener pastures. Kaepernick has all the confidence in the world in himself and he obviously feels like he got the short end of the stick, even if it was his own play in 2015 that ultimately led to his benching.
On a higher level, the 49ers outright chose to blow everything up and upend a coaching staff that was working, for the most part. Kaepernick has to feel betrayed by that more than anything else.
But again, this isn't a demand or an outright refusal to play for the 49ers. This isn't an admonishment of the team's decision to hire Chip Kelly as its new head coach and it isn't a lack of confidence in what Kelly and his offensive staff can do for the team. Kaepernick could very well think he has a future in San Francisco, but if you were in his shoes, wouldn't you also try and find a trade partner?
There's also the possibility that Kaepernick believes the 49ers will release him prior to April 1, despite what Trent Baalke said during his press conference at the NFL Combine. If the team really does believe in Blaine Gabbert, then Kaepernick is not long for the franchise and it would only make sense for the 49ers to allow Kaepernick the possibility of a trade.
I will say it's worth noting that while Kaepernick's cap number is ridiculously high given his last two seasons, it is only a one-year commitment, which might actually interest another team. It's still not likely he gets moved, but it's worth noting, I think.
Anyway ... I just thought it was worth noting that, while Kaepernick may be upset, yesterday's news doesn't necessarily mean he has no chance of playing for the 49ers next season. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.