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Kyle Shanahan does not close door on Colin Kaepernick, but makes one thing pretty clear

The 49ers are going to need quarterbacks. Whether that will include Colin Kaepernick remains to be seen.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is expected to formally opt out of his contract sometime between today and March 7th. His agents have informed teams he will make the move, and so once it happens, he will enter free agency with the rest of the unrestricted free agents next week.

The 49ers will enter free agency with zero quarterbacks under contract. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media on Wednesday he feels pretty good about the film they have studied for their own players. The team is moving on to preparing for free agency and the draft, and most notably that will include figuring out options at quarterback.

On Wednesday, Shanahan said since all their quarterbacks will be free agents, the team is considering them along with all the draft, free agent, and trade possibilities. He said the team does not have an attachment to Kaepernick, and will look at him like everybody else. According to Matt Maiocco, Shanahan said that he and GM John Lynch, “told him straight up, we’re throwing you into the pool with all the other guys.”

Shanahan’s most notable comment might have been when he talked about Kaepernick’s previous success under Jim Harbaugh.

“What Kap did to go to the Super Bowl, he ran similar offense to what we did in 2012,” Shanahan said, referring to the Washington offense during Robert Griffin's rookie season. “I think that’s the kind of stuff that gives him the best chance to be successful.”

Shanahan did not run that kind of offense in Atlanta, but he has always been one to adjust. If you compare his work between Houston, Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta, you see offenses that include a lot of different looks.

“You’ll adjust to anybody. Would I do the exact same stuff I’ve done in Atlanta? That’s different than what I’ve done for other people. So it’s going to always change. But with Kap’s skillset, if he was your guy, you’d adjust to him.”

We have heard reports that Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are off the trade market. Even if they are still available, it will cost a sizable premium to land these guys, on top of the big contract a team will have to give them. Either way that limits what the 49ers will be able to do at the quarterback position. And if they are not sure about the draft class, they are further limited in simply trying to find a bridge to the future. The offense has a lot of work to be done, so it is entirely possible the 49ers and Kaepernick decide they are the best option for each other in the short term.