Chip Kelly and the San Francisco 49ers may have a replacement in mind for Colin Kaepernick if the 49ers do decide to deal the 28-year-old quarterback.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the 49ers are expected to have “serious interest” in former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III if Kaepernick is traded to the Denver Broncos, New York Jets or Cleveland Browns.
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) March 10, 2016
The trade market for Kaepernick has heated up considerably. The Broncos immediately entered the market for a quarterback when Brock Osweiler bolted Denver for the Houston Texans, who gave the 25-year-old a four-year, $72 million deal. Meanwhile, the Jets are still trying to get a contract extension done with Ryan Fitzpatrick, while the Browns search for quarterback help every offseason.
Dealing away Kaepernick would open up a hole in San Francisco, where the 49ers also have Blaine Gabbert, Thaddeus Lewis and Dylan Thompson at quarterback. Griffin III could conceivably fill the void for Kelly and the 49ers offense.
The No. 2 overall pick of the Redskins back in 2012, Griffin III won Offensive Rookie of the Year and took Washington to the postseason before major injuries and clashes with two different coaching staffs derailed his promising career. He did not play a single snap in the regular season last year, as Kirk Cousins took over as the starting quarterback and the Redskins protected Griffin III on the bench—often as the team’s third quarterback behind Colt McCoy.
A fresh start is needed for the former Heisman Trophy winner, and Kaepernick leaving San Francisco could provide exactly the opportunity Griffin III needs.
The dominoes are starting to fall in the quarterback market. If Kaepernick is next, expect RG3 to follow.