In case you haven't heard, Colin Kaepernick's salary of $11.9 million is now fully guaranteed. And the Denver Broncos are still in the conversation for the services of the San Francisco 49ers signal caller. In fact, a report from Mike Klis over at 9news in Colorado says that the Broncos expected him to be retained:
"Although Kaepernick's $11.9 million salary became formally guaranteed with the 49ers following the end of the NFL's business day Thursday, the Broncos remain interested in acquiring the quarterback. Broncos' general manager John Elway was well aware San Francisco was not going to release Kaepernick by the time his salary was to become fully guaranteed on the start of business Friday."
It makes sense when you think about it. Kaepernick is still technically injured and his salary is guaranteed for injury anyways, the 49ers may as well hold onto him a bit longer. I recommend giving the article a read, because it explains a lot of the whole decision making process for both sides. It also gives us a good transition and what to expect in what I like to call "Phase 2" of the Colin Kaepernick trade circus. What was originally 49ers general manager Trent Baalke trying to hook a decent pick for Kaepernick has now evolved into an issue of money:
"The Broncos interest in Kaepernick comes with the caveat they want either the quarterback to take a pay cut that would pay him $14.3 million in 2016 ($11.9 million in salary; $2 million in a roster bonus if he is on the active roster for 9 games, and a $400,000 workout bonus), or for the 49ers to eat some of his salary before dealing him."
Can things get any more difficult? Now it's not a matter of a pick, it's the 49ers trying to take some of the hit Kaepernick's contract will produce. And it seems like there was no avoiding this with Kaepernick's injuries.
The 49ers offseason program begins Monday, due to the fact they have a new coach in Chip Kelly. Kaepernick is expected to show up (that $400,000 bonus certainly helps) so who knows what happens now. Maybe Kap (and Klis mentioned this also) falls in love with Chip Kelly's system and decides to stick around.
If he doesn't go to Denver though, he has the chance of being the most expensive backup in the NFL.