Kaepernick has been exploring trades this offseason, though he lost one suitor when the Cleveland Browns signed free-agent QB Robert Griffin III last week. The Denver Broncos also have expressed interest in Kaepernick but reportedly have balked at the 49ers’ asking price.
Throughout it all, new 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has expressed a desire to retain Kaepernick. And it appears that possibility is picking up momentum as Thursday nears – Kaepernick’s 2016 salary becomes guaranteed at 4 p.m. ET that day.
Kaepernick, 28, played only nine games (eight starts) last season because of injuries, throwing for 1,615 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions. He ran for 256 yards and a TD.
However, he is only a couple of years removed from some statistically strong seasons that made him one of the NFL’s premier up-and-coming QBs. Kaepernick led San Francisco to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season and the NFC title game in the 2013 season.