Soon to be former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick will opt out of his deal soon. I’m betting on the Cleveland Browns to sign him in free agency.
New head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are reconstructing the San Francisco 49ers. The first move a new HC and GM usually make toward that is for a new quarterback. Most recent starting QB Colin Kaepernick knows that.
So according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Kaepernick can’t officially make the move until March 2. But according to Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, he is going full-steam ahead with it.
Even if the new management structure wanted him, he won’t change his decision. Kaepernick and the 49ers restructured his contract last fall so he could start playing. The 49ers had injury guarantees in his contract that made playing him complicated.
Kaepernick would have made $14.5 million to stay with the 49ers but chose to hit the open market sooner. At just 29, he will have at least a decent sized market as he has been to a Super Bowl. He also played decently on a horrible team in 2016.
He threw for 2,241 yards 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games. That’s not a great year but it’s not a year that makes an evaluator believe he doesn’t have it anymore. That’s important because Jackson wanted to draft Kaepernick in 2011.
In 2013, Jackson told NFL.com of his and legendary Raiders owner Al Davis’ disappointment in not getting him.
He said, He was upset [Davis]. So was I. Scouting him, I fell in love with the kid. Leader, won a ton of games at Nevada, really impressive when you talked to him, strong, all the tools to win in the NFL. No doubt in my mind he was going to be good.”
A lot of free agent acquisitions are built on pre-draft evaluations.