Colin Kaepernick is on hand for the San Francisco 49ers offseason workout program, and naturally that has people wondering what it all means. Kaepernick asked to be traded, and has met at least two or three times with Broncos trying to work out a contract as part of a trade. Things have stalled, and Kaepernick remains with the 49ers.
The return of the team means player availability is picking back up. On Wednesday, the media spoke with a few players, and naturally Kaepernick was a topic of discussion. Carlos Hyde and NaVorro Bowman were two of the players to weigh in on the subject.
49ers Hyde on Kaepernick: 'We treat Kap the same way. He's part of the team now. He's in the big room with us. We treat him like a teammate'— Cam Inman (@CamInman) April 6, 2016
From Chris Biderman:
"Yeah, when the season rolls around, I think it will be (a distraction)." said Bowman. "Right now, guys are just focused on what we have to do to get to that point. I’m sure upstairs (49ers management) and Colin are trying to get everything right.
Bowman's are pretty much on point. Things are probably OK for now, but this mess needs to get cleaned up soon.
This all comes a couple days after some intriguing comments by former NFL running backs Michael Robinson and Ladanian Tomlinson. They appeared on NFL Total Access on NFL Network, and were asked about Kaepernick's situation. Robinson went first, and effectively said that he expected unprofessional behavior from Kaepernick to force his way out of Santa Clara.
"He shows up, and no I wouldn't take a pay cut, I got $12 million guaranteed, why would I ever take a pay cut? I don't care how much I want to get out of here," Robinson said. "I've got a feeling he showed up today all smiles. Probably balled up some paper and threw it in the front of the class room a few times, to mess with some guys. If they don't get him out of this locker room, he's eventually going to be a problem. He doesn't want to be there."
I get that Kaepernick is displeased with his situation, but I would certainly hope we would not see that kind of behavior. And in fact, I don't think it's even necessary for him to behave in that kind of unprofessional manner. The 49ers will push the notion they want to keep him, but I remain skeptical about that. As funny as the joke is, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison to George Costanza trying to get fired by the New York Yankees. Neither side is overly pleased about things, and it will not take being a a [site decorum] for Kap to potentially be dealt.
While I think Robinson was off-base on some of his comments, I do think it is reasonable to raise questions about what this means for the locker room. Kaepernick was reportedly in Denver talking to the Broncos, and then was in Santa Clara on Monday for the 49ers workout program. That's not exactly a normal situation. There is no reason to think it will be a problem when the players speak to the media, but it has to at least be a topic of discussion for some of the players. Until something actually gets leaked, we won't really know anything.