The previous franchise cornerstone quarterback of the San Francisco 49’ers Colin Kaepernick; a man who led the team to consecutive NFC title game appearances and five yards from a super bowl title; is now on the outs. With a report that a trade has been consummated with the Denver Broncos awaiting a contract restructuring, it’s a good opportunity to review how we got here and who stands to benefit, if any, going forward.
The surprising part of this rapid downfall is that the blame is evenly distributed, and there will be collateral damage.
At this point there are a few important points to highlight before we summarize the situation.
- Colin Kaepernick is selfish and immature. There are too many points of reference to list them all but here are a few gems.
- Bad Taste in Partners: Kaepernick is widely reported to romantically engage with an addict teammates girlfriend, resulting in that teammate falling off the wagon. He also put himself in harms way a few years ago in a Miami Beach hotel.
- Elected Surgery w/o Team Input: Kaepernick shut himself down this past season, then elected to have surgery away from the team’s doctors and trainers.
- Trade Demand: Lastly even though the team has publicly stated it’s desire to rehabilitate him, Kaepernick through his agents have demanded a trade.
- The 49’ers are ready to move on from Kaepernick. Despite public statements to the contrary, the team is most certainly trying to move Kaepernick. If they weren’t they would not have given his agents permission to seek trades. Nor would there be so many “sources” with intimate knowledge of trade discussions with Cleveland & Denver, among others. There is even a report this week that Chip Kelly never wanted to work with Kaepernick.
- Kaepernick still has some value in the eyes of NFL teams. This is a byproduct of the news with supporters such as Jim Harbaugh, Cleveland, NY Jets and Denver front offices this offseason. People are allured to the promise of his ’12 inaugural season.
- Chip Kelly’s Spread, Confined Passing Read Option Offense fits Kaepernick’s skills best. This is an opinion but for most scouts this is a true statement, and
Let’s move to the crux of the question.
Who Benefits from Kaepernick moving to Denver?
The short answer is everybody but that doesn’t mean it’s the right move.
- 49’ers - they may benefit the most simply b/c Kaepernick has become a lightning rod of criticism in the locker room, on the field and off the field. At this point the probability of him rebounding in the gold & red is slim, and until they get him off the team it’s holding the franchise back. For $5M (the reported amount Denver is asking the 49’ers to pay) to get clarity and a fresh start for the franchise is a pittance to the ongoing pain of holding out wishful thinking hope.
- Kaepernick - once he played the “trade me” card, demanding they make a move, any hope of sticking around was lost.
- Broncos - John Elway is grasping for a future at the game’s most important position; and given his track record this is a risk worth taking. Kaepernick and Sanchez give them an open quarterback challenge to bridge them at the very least a couple of seasons to develop a young player, or at best to see former talents at QB evolve under Gary Kubiak and the stability of the Denver franchise.
It’s hard to imagine a better offensive system for Kaepernick’s strengths than new 49’ers head coach Chip Kelly’s. At this juncture if a trade doesn’t occur, it will be near impossible for a marriage that’s been publicly declared a divorce in progress to revert back when neither is committed to the other. At this point there is ONLY one option for the 49’ers, which is to eat the money and move on.