Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



Is the Colin Kaepernick era over in San Francisco? It certainly felt that way at the end of the 2015 season when he was asking to be traded and flirting with the Denver Broncos and it certainly felt that way at the end of the 2016 season after renegotiating a contract to allow him to easily exit the 49ers.

Kaepernick can void the remainder of his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent in March. Is that what he will do? Everyone has assumed so and nothing has indicated that he wouldn't. In fact, the contrary is true. Kaepernick purchased a condominium in New York City during the last offseason and put his San Jose home up for sale in 2016.

He didn't win the starting job to kick off the 2016 season, partly due to recovery from several offseason surgeries, and has been involved in a protest of the national anthem that caught the attention of nearly every media outlet out there. That attention may be something that turns off a number of franchises, who would likely need to get permission from their owner before bringing in Kaepernick.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee believes that the Bay Area may still be the best fit for Kaepernick. Barrows was on KNBR on Friday to discuss the 49ers, their general manager search, their coach-to-be Kyle Shanahan, and, of course, Kaepernick. Is the quarterback a candidate to be with the 49ers in 2017?

"I think he's definitely a candidate," Barrows said. "I don't know that he's a candidate at his current salary. One of the issues that the 49ers have is that they don't have anybody signed. It may be something where they want Kaepernick here in 2017 just because they need arms. They need quarterbacks. Of course, we all know that he can also opt out of his contract and enter free agency. But, again, you're talking about which regions wouldn't embrace Kaepernick and all that entails? You come back to the Bay Area as one of the few in this country that would probably he would be the best fit.

By far and away, the biggest reason they like Kyle Shanahan is the fact that he's been able to get production out of a whole array of quarterbacks and a whole array or talent levels as well. So they feel confident that, whoever they bring in, he's going to be able to, A, pick the quarterback and, B, groom the quarterback. So that being said, I think they feel like they've got versatility there and they can do a lot of different things, but the numbers are so low that you can't count Colin Kaepernick being out because he's here, he's under contract, and it may be that Kyle Shanahan likes him."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

Other than Kaepernick, the 49ers had two other quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. They are Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder. Neither were signed beyond the 2016 season and are scheduled to become free agents in March. The team also had Thad Lewis on the injured reserve list. He too is scheduled to be a free agent.