A day after NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reported the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans would be interested in trading for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, we have two reports suggesting otherwise. Texans beat writer John McClain tweeted the Texans have no interest in trading for Kaepernick. After that, Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot wrote that the Browns were similarly not interested, including the phrase "at this time" in the report.
And so, we're back to square one, sort of. There are a couple ways to look at this. Either the 49ers or Kap's agents likely leaked the information that led to Rapoport tweeting of Browns, Texans interest. I suppose there could be a mystery third party, but that strikes me as unlikely. My guess is the 49ers brass leaked that initial information, but as with everything in this [site decorum] show, we're unlikely to find out for certain.
The question now is what is next. It sounds like the 49ers have yet to formally grant the request, but again, who knows for certain. I do think there will be a market for Kap if the 49ers allow him to search for a trade. And it very well could end up including the Browns and/or Texans. It reminds me of the quotation from boxing promoter Bob Arum: "Yesterday I was lying, but today I'm telling the truth."
The 49ers could hold onto Kap and take the cap hit for 2016, but I think this ends with him on another team in 2016. I think this ends with his release on an injury settlement. The 49ers want to keep control of the situation, which a trade would allow. It is possible a deal gets done, but this could end up just involving a game of chicken to see who blinks first. The 49ers can afford his salary, but that doesn't mean they actually want to have to pay the whole thing.