While it is free agency time right now in the NFL, a trade involving Colin Kaepernick is the hottest thing around. The Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets are interested, but right now, it seems like there are a number of interests pulling in different directions.
First of all are the 49ers, who want as big as a compensation as possible for someone they thought was going to be their franchise quarterback when he signed a six year, $114 million extension with the 49ers on June 4, 2014. The sum seemed out of this world at the time, but the contract is filled with incentives, and if the 49ers won’t find someone to trade him to, they might cut him and take the dead money to avoid the full $15 million cap hit in 2016, not to mention the numbers getting worse later.
Kaepernick himself would like to play for the Browns, who have released Johnny Manziel, have Hue Jackson as a head coach that’s actually attractive to offensive players to work under, and they’re also offering the most right now. The 49ers would like a second round pick for Kaepernick despite his ability in 2015 (59% completions, only six touchdowns and five interceptions while posting a 78.5 passer rating). The Browns are offering a third round pick, but being a team tied for the worst record in the NFL last season, they have the 2nd overall pick, and also the 65, which is two picks after the second round ends. The Browns, and the others, need Kaepernick to rework the numbers in his deal, especially the $19 million cap and more from 2017 onward.
The Browns aren’t the only players in this. Right now the Jets aren’t getting anywhere with Ryan Fitzpatrick as he might slip away from them to… who knows, the Broncos. Right now they’re talking with Robert Griffin III, another player both the 49ers and Broncos are interested in, just to put some leverage on Fitzpatrick. The Jets aren’t offering something the 49ers are spinning their heads over right now.
The same goes for the Broncos, who lost Brock Osweiler turns out the moment they benched him before the playoffs, and are now scrambling to find a decent quarterback to start in front of a defense that is also going to be weaker compared to last season with the way they’ve been losing talent. They’re not offering a whole lot for Kaepernick at the moment, but that may change over the weekend if there’s a hint the Browns are getting closer, and both the Jets & Broncos feel Kaepernick is the best option out there to fill their quarterback needs.