According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, Colin Kaepernick will likely make the 49ers’ 53-man roster after a solid showing on Thursday night.
There had been talk that Kaepernick could be on the chopping block, but it sounds like the 49ers would prefer to keep him around, even if he ends up as their backup quarterback.
Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com recently mentioned there’s a “realistic shot” the 49ers could put Kaepernick “on ice” this season to protect against his injury guarantees kicking in next year.
This would be a similar situation to what the Redskins did with Robert Griffin III last year.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sport said this past weekend that Kaepernick faces a “very, very big uphill battle” to make the 49ers.
“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team,” Glazer said, via Pro Football Talk. “I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has nothing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”
San Francisco could save a portion of his $11.9 million salary, since it includes offset language.
While it sounds like playing Kaepernick doesn’t appear to be in their plans, it’s worth mentioning that this would be a big risk for San Franscisco, as his 2017 salary of $14.5 million could become fully guaranteed before the 49ers could release him.
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.