The Colin Kaepernick trade from the San Francisco 49ers to the Denver Broncos isn’t happening due to his refusal to rework his contract, which means take a paycut.
Kaepernick is due to make $11.9 million in 2016, already guaranteed as the 49ers kept him on the roster through April 1, not releasing him to save over $8 million in cap space. Trading him to the Broncos became a more realistic option at that point, but the Broncos wouldn’t have him for more than $7 million a season. In the negotiations some suggested the 49ers take on the extra $4.9 million Kaepernick was asked to shed from his salary. No one wanted to do it, so Kaepernick is staying to probably be a bench player behind Blaine Gabbert, or maybe some quarterback the 49ers pick in the draft.
In the meantime, Kaepernick is reporting to 49ers workouts to get his $400,000 bonus but due to the injuries that sidelined him last season (along with his poor ability, although that may have had something to do with injuries) he probably won’t be able to do much. The situation with Kaepernick tells us more about the ineptitude of the 49ers front office than anything else. Not just the bad contract Kaepernick has, although that’s hindsight genius mode talking. But if they didn’t want him on the team, why not cut him? His value heading into the offseason was at an all-time low. Banking on a trade, especially in April when most teams are done doing big business, just doesn’t make sense.
This doesn’t really work out well for anyone. The Broncos still have only Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian, which could mean they’ll head to the draft and find a short term or long term solution, even if Sanchez is now the projected starter. The 49ers have been interested in drafting a quarterback, but also getting something out of dumping Kaepernick. Turns out it’s not so easy, and a player who probably feels slightly betrayed by the team, isn’t making it easier on them.