Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the 49ers are still optimistic that QB Colin Kaepernick could be their franchise quarterback, despite the fact that they’ve benched him for Blaine Gabbert this week.
San Francisco seems to think Kaepernick needs a breather before returning as the team’s starter at some point down the road.
Kaepernick seemed to take issue with HC Jim Tomsula’s suggestion that he needs to “step back and breathe,” saying: “I’m not out of breath.”
Jason Cole of B/R previously reported that the decision to bench Kaepernick “is not a long-term plan,” and they’re instead hoping that sitting him for a week or two will allow him to “get his head straight.”
Kaepernick, 27, is in the second year of his seven-year, $126.97 million contract that included $61 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $12.4 million for the 2015 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.
$14 million of Kaepernick’s deal will become guaranteed in April of next year, which gives San Francisco ample time to consider all of their available options. It’s worth mentioning that parting ways with Kaepernick would create $7 million in dead money for the 49ers.
In eight games this season, Kaepernick has thrown for 1,615 yards while completing 59.3 percent of his passes to go along with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s also added 228 yards rushing and a touchdown.
We’ll have more regarding Kaepernick and his future with the 49ers as the news is available.