This is not exactly breaking news, but on Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke formally acknowledged the team gave quarterback Colin Kaepernick permission to seek a trade. There have been numerous reports on the topic, but I believe this is the first tiem
Kaepernick is under contract, so any trade discussion not initiated by the 49ers requires permission from the 49ers. With the given permission, Kap's agents can directly contact teams and try and see what it would take to get something done.
This has led to plenty of back-and-forth in the rumors. On Monday, Cleveland Browns executive Sashi Brown said the 49ers had contacted the Browns and Cleveland's interest was over-reported. However, shortly after, given that the comments seemed to throw the 49ers under the bus, an anonymous source said that it was actually Kap's agents who had been in touch.
Later in the day, Jason Cole reported that some in the 49ers thought the trade chatter had picked up due to drama between Kap's two agents. Scott Smith and Jason Bernstein handle his football affairs, with Scott being the senior agent given that it is his firm, XAM Sports. Cole reported the 49ers seemed to be under the impression there was a split happening, and the trade would allow Kap to then determine who would represent him.
All indications I've seen are that Cole's report is BS. Plenty could be hidden right now, but my own research at this point indicates the 49ers might be blowing some more smoke with that report. If Cole's report is false, as I currently believe it to be, I can't imagine this ending with Kaepernick still in Santa Clara at the end of the offseason. Who knows what the next few weeks will bring, but the whole thing has just gotten crazier and crazier. Baalke said the 49ers are nowhere near getting anything done, but we'll see what the next week brings.
Matt Maiocco asked Baalke why Kap would be given permission for a trade:
"Because I think sometimes it helps players work through anything they may have," Baalke said. "It gives them a chance to see what their options really are. It also gives us a chance to say we didn't hold you back from doing that."
Maiocco's article (linked above) includes some additional quotations from Baalke that are worth a read. Baalke acknowledged the change the team has gone through, and said, "sometimes that's difficult on players, especially young players that have to go from system to system to system." Make of that what you will.