Report: Colin Kaepernick to void contract in 2017, become free agent

Steve Mitchell/Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It took Colin Kaepernick six weeks to crack the starting lineup for the San Francisco 49ers, but now that he has, the offense has looked significantly better. Since the team’s bye in Week 8, he’s averaged 334 total yards per game with eight touchdown passes and just two interceptions in four starts. He’s looked similar to the player he was during the 49ers’ Super Bowl run, and it has him looking like a starter in 2017.

While he’s under contract with the 49ers next season, that’s likely to change in the offseason. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Kaepernick will void the final year of his deal next season and become a free agent.

Kaepernick and the 49ers restructured his contract in October, voiding the final four years of his six-year deal, while giving him an opt-out clause for 2017. While he’ll reportedly exercise that option, he could return to San Francisco on a presumably cheaper deal.

This works out for both sides. Kaepernick can get a deal that gives him more financial security for years to come, while the 49ers could possibly get him for less than his $14.5 million base salary in 2017. With that being said, the next five weeks will be crucial for Kaepernick and San Francisco.

It’ll likely determine how much he’s able to fetch on the open market, and it’ll help the 49ers decide whether they need to spend their forthcoming top-five pick on a quarterback in the draft. Kaepernick’s play of late has already impacted both, but how he finishes the year will be telling – especially if he’s able to stay healthy.

This season, Kaepernick has 10 touchdowns and three interceptions with 1,440 yards through the air and another 373 on the ground. His passer rating sits at a respectable 87.0, including 96.0 in the past four weeks.