Colin Kaepernick has been in the news yet again this week, but this time it wasn’t for his national anthem protest.
First, Kaepernick was named the San Francisco 49ersstarting quarterback on Tuesday. Then it was announced on Wednesday that he restructured his current deal, giving both he and the 49ers some leeway.
Kaepernick signed a six-year, $114 million contract in 2014. His newly restructured deal essentially wipes out the final four years of the six-year deal. If he gets injured, the 49ers won’t be on the hook for paying him $14.5 million guaranteed. His 46-man roster bonus will be added to his base salary this season and a bonus will kick in if he plays in half of the team’s snaps this season.
This new deal allows Kaepernick to test the open market in free agency next March if he so chooses or he can sign a player option if he elects. San Francisco won’t be responsible for any of money he was previously owed, if he chooses to go the free agency route, which saves about $19 million on the salary cap.
Dating back to last offseason, the 49ers front office and Kaepernick were not on the same page. The embattled signal caller was hoping to get traded, but San Francisco couldn’t find a suitable trade partner that was willing to give them the returned they desired.
On Sunday, Kaepernick will make his first start of the season and first start since November 1 of last year, as he is finally recovered from offseason thumb and shoulder surgeries. He is replacing the struggling Blaine Gabbert and that could end up being a good thing for San Francisco. Kaepernick has a chance to thrive in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense. He is more mobile and has a significantly better arm than Gabbert.
This essentially is an audition for Kaepernick to show the other 31 teams in the NFL what he can do. A chance to show that he can regain the form of his younger self when he started in a Super Bowl for the 49ers.
If Brock Osweiler can get $18 million a year, surely there is some team out there that willing to take a chance on Kap and give him some fresh, new scenery.