The saga of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick does not appear to be ending anytime soon. He visited with the Seattle Seahawks a week ago, but it appears to be growing more likely that he will not sign with the team.
Former NFL coach and executive Pat Kirwan said on Tuesday that he does not believe Kaepernick will sign with the Seahawks. This is notable because Kirwan and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll go way back. Seahawks writer Bob Condotta had details on their relationship:
Kirwan worked with Seattle coach Pete Carroll for five years with the New York Jets in the 1990s, including serving as the team’s salary cap analyst during Carroll’s one season as head coach there in 1994. In fact, he’s close enough with Carroll that when Carroll became coach of the Seahawks in 2010 there was speculation that Kirwan could be considered as the team’s general manager or at least as an assistant to the head coach (Carroll also later wrote the foreward for Kirwan’s book).
I doubt we hear the Seahawks say they will not be signing Kaepernick. If Carroll gets a question about it, I could see him saying something like, “We’re continuing to evaluate things.”
There is no question about the role, but there remain some questions about what Colin Kaepernick is willing to accept in salary. Condotta says the CBA provides for a minimum salary of $900,000. Kaepernick has six credited seasons, so I believe it would actually be $775,000. Either way, it’s more than Trevone Boykin’s $545,000. It’s not really all that much considering Boykin’s salary is not guaranteed. His only dead money if released would be $5,000 this year and next year for his signing bonus.
While the San Francisco 49ers lead the NFL with $71 million in cap space, the Seahawks are in the bottom third of the league with just under $9 million in cap space. That’s still a decent amount to make some moves, but teams always hold on to some space for any emergencies.
If Kaepernick is willing to play for the league minimum, I’m skeptical about salary considerations given how little difference there is between the two salaries. At the same time, we still don’t know what kind of salary Kaepernick will be looking to get. His discussions with the Seahawks seem to make it clear he will accept a backup role, but we don’t know what he’s looking for from a salary perspective.