The San Francisco 49ers have failed to get to the postseason each of the last three seasons, and it will probably take at least a couple seasons, if not more to return. When they do eventually return to the postseason, odds are pretty high that Colin Kaepernick will not be on the team. He can opt out of his contract next month, and while we have heard some reports that he is open to a potential return to the 49ers, a clean split seems more likely.
If Kaepernick does leave the 49ers, it means we will not get to see the quarterback who did some rather incredible things during the 2012 and 2013 playoffs. Football Outsiders recently released postseason drive stats and DVOA information. The Kaepernick 49ers of 2012-13 rank No. 1 in yards and points per drive, all while starting at one of the worst average line of scrimmages. He ranks No. 15 in DVOA.
FO also lists out the average lead for each quarterback. Kaepernick’s is a 2.42 point deficit, which is No. 28. Neil O’Donnell leads the way there with an average lead of 3.26. Kaepernick’s is likely that low because of the huge deficits against the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons in the the first postseason.
Football is a team game, and drive stats in particularly rely on overall team influence. That being said, it is still interesting to compare quarterbacks. Kaepernick’s sample size is incredibly small, with six games available. And the 16 games each season that led up to the playoffs are plenty important as well. The team came up short both years, but for a brief period, Colin Kaepernick was kind of ridiculous.
I imagine most people don’t expect to see him back at that level anytime soon, but if he opts out, it will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for him. I don’t expect a mammoth contract, but teams won’t simply forget those two postseasons.