Ian Rapoport confirms that the 49ers are currently mulling a possible change at quarterback. According to Rapoport, full staff conversations about their quarterback situation have yet to place, but HC Chip Kelly has reportedly had some “informal, exploratory discussions” about making a move.
Rapoport mentions that the restructured deal currently being discussed with Colin Kaepernick would alleviate any concerns about him getting injured and then guaranteeing a portion of his 2017 salary.
In regards to Kaepernick’s condition, sources tell Rapoport that his arm is strong again but he still might be off a bit in terms of his playing weight.
Rapoort’s source added that the locker room appears to be fine with either Blaine Gabbert of Kaepernick being the team’s starter.
“It’s not like Kaepernick is outplaying Blaine in practice,” Rapoport’s source said. “It’s basically the same. Both make some throws, miss some throws. It’s not like players are saying, ‘We need this guy.'”
There was some talk in recent days about Christian Ponder also having some support within the 49ers’ locker room but a change at quarterback is widely expected to result in Kaepernick taking over.
Kaepernick, 28, is in the third year of his seven-year, $126.97 million contract that included $61 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $11.9 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.
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.