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John Lynch: We’ll be up front with Colin Kaepernick

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The 49ers could enter free agency without a quarterback on the roster.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has a decision to make by next week. He can opt out of his contract between March 2 and March 7. There have been multiple reports he will opt out, but reports from those close to him say he is open to a potential return to the 49ers. I imagine rumors will kick into overdrive next week when the 2017 NFL Combine gets going.

On Tuesday, 49ers GM John Lynch was asked about Colin Kaepernick’s future with the team. Lynch had spoken about the kind of football character he wants on his roster, and that was followed by a Kaepernick question. The host asked him about Kaepernick’s status and if he has the kind of football character they are looking for. Lynch had this to say:

Well listen, every time we talk about Kap, I think of the guy that was in the Super Bowl not too long ago. And so, I remember that team, and I remember broadcasting and coming in here and being very impressed with the young man. Things happen in guys’ careers. Injuries happen, different things happen. We’re just, like we said we would and like we told Kap we would, we’re assessing everything. And both Kyle and I believe wholeheartedly that that position is the most important position in football. And we believe that in our heart of hearts.

So from every side of this thing, we’re evaluating. And we’re continuing to watch the film. We’ll continue to work towards that until we have made a decision. And the one thing that we will do very well with Kap is we will communicate. And I think that is important on both sides. Like everything else I’m talking about, that process is well in the works, and like I said, we’ll continue to do that. And we’ll be up front with him in terms of what we’re thinking, and we wanna know what he’s thinking as well.

The 49ers have a lot of work to do with the quarterback position. It is certainly a plus that the 49ers will maintain communication with Kaepernick. There were a lot of issues the past couple years in that regard, and improved communication across the entire football operation will be helpful as the team moves forward.

If Kaepernick opts out of his contract, the 49ers will have zero quarterbacks on the roster when the new league year starts. The specific plan for filling out the depth chart remains to be seen, but if Kaepernick is not part of the group, I would suspect the team signs two veterans and drafts one quarterback. They will want four or five quarterbacks on the roster, in which case I imagine we would see them sign a UDFA and/or add another veteran option.

The downside to this situation is they would not have an answer at quarterback on the roster. The upside is they can do whatever they want with the available options. With high draft picks in the first and second round and a ton of cap space, they have a lot of options at their disposal. Maybe they don’t find their QB of the future this year, but they have a lot of options.