Colin Kaepernick no longer wishes to play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Sources told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Kaepernick wants to play for the New York Jets next season after a forgettable 2015 with the 49ers.
Kaepernick lost the starting job to Blaine Gabbert in Week 9, and he missed the rest of the season due to an injured left shoulder that required surgery. In eight starts, he threw for 244 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 256 yards and one rushing touchdown.
When the 49ers hired Chip Kelly to be their head coach last month, the thought of Kaepernick operating in Kelly’s read-option offense seemed an ideal fit for both parties involved, and owner Jed York said last week “there’s no question” in his mind that Kaepernick can re-gain his job as the starter.
But while Kaepernick wants to play for the Jets, there’s still the issue of his contract. From Mehta:
Although Kaepernick wants to play for the Jets, he still has five years remaining on a blockbuster $114 million extension signed in 2014 that includes escape hatches for his current employer. The 49ers must make a decision to trade or cut Kaepernick before April 1 when his 2016 base salary of $11.9 million becomes guaranteed. San Francisco would save $8.5 million by releasing Kaepernick, who is scheduled to have a $15.9 million cap charge this season.
Then there’s the matter of San Francisco’s asking price and what the Jets would be willing to give up for the 28-year-old quarterback. New York has expressed its desire to re-sign impending free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had a career year in helping the Jets win 10 games last season. According to Mehta, the Jets and Fitzpatrick’s camp are expected to discuss an extension in the coming weeks.
New York’s front office has some thinking to do at the quarterback position.