49ers GM Trent Baalke made it clear Tuesday at the NFL Owners Meeting that the team’s number one priority is to iron out a new deal with QB Colin Kaepernick before the start of training camp in July.
“We’re going to work extremely hard, very diligently in trying to get something done prior to training camp,” Baalke said via CSN Bay Area. “That’s the objective right now, as it stands.”
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the 49ers have held preliminary negotiations with Kaepernick’s agent, Scott Smith, and that the sides are prepared to “delve into specifics with face-to-face meetings.”
Kaepernick is heading into the final year of his original four-year deal, and is slated to earn $1.073 million in base salary and bonuses next season.
It certainly would appear to be in San Francisco’s best interest to extend Kaepernick sooner rather than later, though it will be a substantial investment. By way of comparison, the Bears gave QB Jay Cutler an average annual value of $18 million for the first three seasons of his seven-year deal. Kaepernick is younger, and has led the 49ers to consecutive NFC Championship games.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is in agreement with 49ers management regarding Kaepernick’s value.
“The priority is Colin Kaepernick is a San Francisco 49er for however long we can have him be a San Francisco 49er.”