After trading their star tight end, the San Francisco 49ers weren’t done. Just hours later the team announced the benching of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Former 1st round pick Blaine Gabbert will take his place under center.
Where to start with Kaepernick? Once thought of as a surefire superstar in the league, the limelight has faded. Kaepernick led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, despite starting the season as Alex Smith’s backup. Kaepernick emerged in the media spotlight after Jim Harbaugh benched Smith in favor of the young, athletic QB. Oh, how the tables have turned.
Kaepernick, of course known for his elite athleticism, has failed to adapt in the NFL as a traditional pocket passer which has hurt his ability to scramble, making him a one-dimensional player. The 49ers offense has been among the worst in the league throughout the past two seasons and Kaep has been one of the worst QBs in the league as well.
What are they getting in Blaine Gabbert? Nothing much. Gabbert compiled a 5-22 record after some porous seasons in Jacksonville which saw him leave with the “bust” label. Perhaps he can turn it around with a change of scenery. At the very least, the change at QB will light a fire for other players as it shows nobody’s job is safe.
Jim Tomsula hinted at a possible switch at QB in an interview where he stated the team was “evaluating everything” when asked if Kaepernick would be benched. This leaves the 49ers with a need at QB heading into the offseason.
It’ll be interesting to see how the team treats Kaepernick’s situation in the offseason. Will he be cut? Traded? You know the media will eat that up.
For now, it looks like the Niners need to be avoided as a whole in fantasy football leagues. Gabbert isn’t a gamble worth taking and with him under center, it will be awfully tough to trust the likes of Anquan Boldin or Torrey Smith. If that changes and suddenly Gabbert is even close to respectable, we’ll let you know. San Francisco’s running game can also be left alone thanks to how banged up it is, but Carlos Hyde should be worth using once his foot is 100%.