The Denver Broncos have asked San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take a substantial pay cut as part of a trade for the player's services. This much could have been inferred by the lack of a deal, but said pay cut would take Kaepernick "to approximately $7 million," according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report.
While there have been dozens of rumors and reports surrounding Kaepernick, a potential trade, his intentions and his feelings about a pay cut, this is the first one that gives any concrete dollar amount. Whether you happen to buy this particular rumor or not, I'll say it should have some legs given the fact that the numbers ... just make sense, at least when you look at it from Denver's perspective.
The Broncos are desperate for a new quarterback, but they also are strapped for cap space. Kaepernick was benched for Blaine Gabbert last season, and paying $11.9 million for him just doesn't make sense for a team coming off a Super Bowl victory. While they are desperate, they also know that Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco and they know they offer stability that the 49ers simply don't.
It's also worth noting that the deadline for the 49ers to release Kaepernick has come and gone. It wasn't much of an actual deadline anyway, as Kaepernick is still injured and his 2016 salary was already guaranteed against injury, so cutting him prior to the 1 p.m. pacific deadline -- the time when the NFL stops accepting official transactions for the day -- would have forced the 49ers to pay him that base salary in full.
And now ... not much changes. The Broncos will likely keep negotiating with Kaepernick and the 49ers will continue trying to convince the once-franchise quarterback that there is a future for him under Chip Kelly. The Broncos can still convince Kaepernick to take a pay cut if the 49ers get a trade done. The 49ers can still release him, with the same consequences they would have had weeks ago.
We continue to wait.