It would appear the San Francisco 49ers will have no quarterbacks on their roster when the new league year starts next week. Colin Kaepernick formally hired Jeff Nalley and Sean Kiernan to represent him, and Ian Rapoport tweeted that they have informed teams he will opt out of his contract.
This is not surprising news, but it is the first formal confirmation that this will happen. Kaepernick can officially opt out starting tomorrow, March 2, and has until March 7 to formally exercise his opt-out option.
Kaepernick restructured his contract last fall when he moved into the starting lineup, turning it into a two-year deal with an opt-out after the first year. Kaepernick met with general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan last week, and the 49ers GM came away saying it was a positive discussion, and all three men were excited about how it went.
They could all still be on the same page, but that would not have precluded Kaepernick from opting out. He had his ups and downs in 2016, but after an abysmal 2015 season, he showed he still has something left in the tank. With so many questions around the league at the quarterback position, there is a decent chance he could find some decent money on the open mark.
That being said, this does not preclude a return to the 49ers. He might not find a good option on the market, and the 49ers might look at him as a potential bridge quarterback for the coming season. Kyle Shanahan is looking over tape to figure out what will suit the 49ers best, and next week when free agency starts, we’ll start to get a better idea of what that means. The 49ers have been connected to Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Matt Schaub, and some think Brian Hoyer’s previous experience with Shanahan could mean something.