Colin Kaepernick may have opted out, but that doesn’t mean he can’t return to the San Francisco 49ers after testing the waters in free agency. Well, there’s “can’t” and then there’s “won’t” and Greg Cosell thinks it’s a combination of the two.
The senior NFL Films producer met with Matt Maiocco in another lengthy podcast and had a lot of good stuff regarding the prospects and what the 49ers need to do going forward. You can listen to the full podcast here. There’s a lot to discuss in the coming days and we’ll have everything time stamped soon, but I wanted to look at his answer to the inevitable Colin Kaepernick question. Like most, Cosell errs towards the negative on a Kaepernick return.
“He won’t be back with the Niners because I don’t think he can run that offense anyway. That’s no knock on Colin Kaepernick, he’s got a track record—we’ve all seen him play, but he’s not that style of quarterback. So that offense is not for Colin. They know it. He’s apparently opted out, he’s not going to be with the Niners. I don’t think they’ll go after [re-signing him].”
Chip Kelly was the coach that analysts thought would bring a dream offense for Colin Kaepernick and said offense only had one season in San Francisco. If placed into Shanahan’s system, Kaepernick again will be called upon to stand and make throws in the pocket—something he’s struggled with in the past.
In Washington, Shanahan tooled his offense to fit a similar quarterback, Robert Griffin III. The league has changed and the read option, while effective when used sparingly, is not an offense teams can use as a centerpiece. Defenses are just too quick in the pro level to rely on it the way Washington, and by extension, the 49ers have in previous seasons.
There’s going to be a lot coming out about Kaepernick’s decision and who he meets with vs. any attempts to make him stay. With the quarterback market a bit thin this year, Kaepernick may find an offense where his talents can be utilized. That probably won’t be San Francisco.