The San Francisco 49ers quarterback situation has been the subject of plenty of debate this offseason. The team has been in trade discussions with the Denver Broncos, which have seemingly ground to a halt. Peter King recently weighed in on the topic of Colin Kaepernick in his March 28 Monday Morning Quarterback column.
King said he does not see the 49ers releasing Kaepernick, and he does not see a trade happening unless the Broncos "get serious about dealing something significant for him." The Broncos have reportedly decided he is worth a fourth round pick, which they do not have. The 49ers have reportedly looked for the Broncos second round pick. There has been chatter about Denver potentially offering a third, but with all the speculation, it's hard to know what is true. It is possible they might look for a pick back to make it worth their while.
Colin Kaepernick's 2016 base salary becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, and the 49ers have repeatedly said they have no plans on releasing him before that happens. King said he does not believe Chip Kelly would go into training camp this summer "with Blaine Gabbert and a highly drafted rookie as his only serious quarterback options." Someone is overlooking Thad Lewis and Dylan Thompson!
He hedged his bets a bit saying it's certainly possible Kelly might do just that, but he thinks it is more probable Kap sticks around, absent a boost in the Broncos offer. His reasoning was fairly sound:
Even if San Francisco picks a quarterback with the seventh overall pick in the draft, the cap number of Kaepernick, Gabbert and the rookie combined would be about $21.4 million not prohibitive for the most important position on the field. I think Kelly's telling the truth when he says he's looking forward to working with Kaepernick and Gabbert.
King pointed to the issue of Kelly not having any practice time with any of the players yet. He has had discussions with his players, but has repeatedly said it has not been about football. The CBA does not allow for coaches and players doing any work before April. Given Kap's seemingly tenuous status with the team, I don't think Kelly would push the rules at this point in that regard.
The closer we get to April 1, the more likely it seems the 49ers will be fine keeping him around. They can certainly afford to do it. If they can convince John Elway and the Denver Broncos of the same thing, then maybe they can in fact get a deal done before the end of this week. There are four days until the salary guarantee. Maybe nothing happens, maybe something happens. We'll see!