Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that the 49ers could release QB Colin Kaepernick before April 1 to prevent his $11.9 million in salary from becoming guaranteed, the possibility exists that they may already be on the hook for this money.
A source tells Florio that the NFLPA would argue that cutting Kaepernick before April 1, if he’s still injured, results in the salary becoming fully guaranteed and unavoidable.
If the 49ers were to release Kaepernick and he signed on with another team, the amount of money he makes in salary could offset the amount the 49ers owe him. However, Florio mentions that a new team could always sign him to a minimum deal, leaving San Francisco on the hook for most of the $11.9 million.
All of this may not be issue anyways, seeing as the 49ers have maintained that they plan to keep Kaepernick as their quarterback.
Beyond that, it’s also possible that Kaepernick could be traded to another team such as the Broncos, who reportedly want him to rework his contract in any deal.
Kaepernick, 28, is entering the third year of his seven-year, $126.97 million contract that included $61 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $13.9 million for the 2016 season.
While those numbers are impressive on their own, the contract is essentially a pay-as-you-go agreement that includes ways for San Francisco to walk away with limited repercussions, as long as Kaepernick is healthy.
According to OverTheCap.com, trading Kaepernick would free up $8,493,493 in available cap space and create $7,397,260 in dead money.
In 2015, Kaepernick threw for 1,615 yards while completing 59.3 percent of his passes to go along with six touchdowns and five interceptions over the course of eight games. He also added 228 yards rushing and a touchdown.
We’ll have more regarding Kaepernick as the news is available.