None of us will ever know the very specific details about the San Francisco 49ers' non-trade of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. We don't actually know if the Denver Broncos were reportedly close to a deal. We don't know if Kaepernick wouldn't budge on a pay cut or how much a potential pay cut would have been. We don't know if the Broncos wanted the 49ers to cover some of the cost. Heck, we don't even know if the Cleveland Browns or New York Jets were ever actually interested.
But if what did happen included Kaepernick refusing to take a potential pay cut, ultimately leading the Broncos to pursue a trade up for Paxton Lynch in the first round of the NFL Draft, I have just one thought on the matter.
Good for him.
Guaranteed money is guaranteed money, right? I know it's a favorite pastime of NFL fans to get angry when players want more money and hold out for new deals, but it's not like NFL teams don't rip up contracts and release players on a weekly basis. I never got why honoring the sanctity of a contract was such a concern with players but not for teams.
But back to the point -- Kaepernick signed a deal when the 49ers were convinced he was their franchise quarterback. Not completely sold on Kaepernick, they guaranteed a lot of money but at a lower total dollar amount than other franchise quarterbacks were getting at the time. We've talked over and over about it being a team-friendly deal.
Just because Kaepernick isn't necessarily the player the team hoped he would be doesn't mean he suddenly doesn't deserve the money that was guaranteed to him. And why would any player coming off the season he just came off, with multiple surgeries, even consider the notion of taking less money to play somewhere else? Just because the Broncos are in a better situation as a team?
It's a silly concept. If Kaepernick refused a sizable pay cut, then he's just looking out for No. 1 and so long as that line of thinking isn't actively hurting someone else, it's the smartest line of thinking as far as I'm concerned.
Whatever the case, Kaepernick will remain with the 49ers. He will get paid a lot of money to potentially sit on the bench. I hope that's not the case, though. The best thing that can happen here is that Chip Kelly is genuine (not a given) and actually wants Kaepernick to succeed. Don't we all, at this point? Obviously I'm not a fan of Blaine Gabbert but I still think Kaepernick's ceiling is a whole lot higher and him actually turning things around sure would be awesome.
I'm not going to say that Kaepernick needs to go out and "earn" that money." He's already done it, that's why the 49ers signed him to that deal. But bouncing back sure would be nice!