With Thursday just a couple days away, the 49ers look locked into the Colin Kaepernick experiment for at least another year. After 4PM on April 1st, the 49ers will be obliged to pay Kaeprnick a guaranteed salary of $11.9M for the upcoming season – a little much for someone who was benched last season. This leaves his future in San Francisco in jeopardy.
After shopping Kaep for the past couple months, the 49ers are still without a suitor. The QB expressed interest to join the Jets, but he was quickly shot down on that possibility. San Francisco looked elsewhere for trade partners, and despite the Broncos exponential interest, Kaepernick remains on the roster here in late March – just a month before the draft.
I’m here to tell you that Chip Kelly and the ‘Niners should stick it out just one more year. While Blaine Gabbert had a solid season in relief of Kaepernick, he’s just not a starting caliber QB and Kaepernick clearly brings more of a spark to an offensive unit that is expected to be “bland”, despite the presence of Chip Kelly.
Who knows how Kaepernick will fit in Kelly’s offense? Perhaps he’s just in need of an offensive-minded coach who gives him more flexibility and open-mindedness in the offensive scheme. Kelly hasn’t had much of an opportunity to experiment with an athletic QB of Kaepernick’s stature –this could be exactly what both parties need to resurrect their careers.
Let’s not forget that Kaepernick helped lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl back in 2013 when he stole the starting job from Alex Smith. He can win football games. During that year, he showed tremendous signs of potential and even followed that up with a great season where he threw 21 TD passes to just 8 INTs.
The team and the media has been so quick to throw Kaep under the bus, but why? Sure, he’s not going to be the traditional pocket passer that some looked for him to develop into, but that’s just not what his skillset offers. He needs to use his legs in order to open up opportunities in the passing game – Kelly’s offense could be the perfect fit for that.
Obviously the 49ers are still in rebuilding mode, so they’re not going to compete for the playoffs in 2016. This is the perfect opportunity for Kelly to experiment with Kaepernick and try to re-surface his trade value. Worst case, the 49ers miss the playoffs and Kaepernick crashes and burns – like everyone expects. I just think there is a lot of potential and upside with this QB-HC combination, why not give it a shot?
While the 49ers are still projected to take a QB, Colin Kaepernick deserves another shot in San Francisco.