Earlier this week, QB Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers were working on a restructured contract that would take away his guaranteed money (if he got injured) and allow him to choose to become a free agent at the end of the season. This is a win-win for both teams.
According to reports, Kaepernick and the 49ers have finally agreed on a deal. HC Chip Kelly also announced that Kaepernick would reclaim his starting position in week 6 against the Buffalo Bills.
So is the long-awaited storm finally here? It’s been relatively quiet in the Bay Area, hasn’t it?
This contract allows Kaepernick to control his own destiny, and it’s perfect for the 49ers. He is going to play as hard has he can, no matter what. Even if he does not wish to return to the 49ers, he will want to increase his value so that other teams may pick up him. If he plays well and everyone starts to love him again, then he will choose to stay with the team.
After QB Alex Smith was injured in 2012, Kaepernick took the helm and control of the young 49er team. He then led them to the Super Bowl in his first season as a starter and the NFC Championship Game in his next season. But after that game, he seemed to lose his confidence and completely dropped off.
Kaepernick has all the tools to be a fantastic quarterback, but his decision-making is subpar. All those problems that existed before his injuries re-surfaced in the preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.
He still, however, played better in that game than he did in most other games last season, looking a lot sharper. If he can capitalize on his strengths (short passes, no long bombs), and take advantage of the run game, which the 49ers’ offense has always done, then he will be in good shape to lead this team out of shambles. He’s a much better leader now.
If Kaepernick plays poorly, then none of this matters. He can choose to stay with the 49ers, but he will no longer be the starter, and he’ll end up leaving after some time. He may also choose to be a free agent. Either way, the 49ers are saving money.
The 2012 Kaepernick still exists. It’s just a matter of whether or not he’ll show up.