Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has hired new agents and will reportedly opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He has hired Sean Kiernan and Jeff Nalley of Select Sports Group and they have informed NFL teams that the quarterback will be available as a free agent on March 9, per NFL Network.


On February 13, it was reported that the quarterback parted ways with XAM Sports, which had represented him since the 2011 NFL Draft. Kaepernick needed an agent to file the paperwork to opt out of his contract. He will also need an agent to talk with interested teams – if there are any – during the two-day window leading up to the start of free agency on March 9. Teams are not allowed to talk directly to players, even if they are self-represented.

While Kaepernick met with new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch for the first time on February 22, many within the media still expected him to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. If he has a desire to play for Shanahan and if the 49ers want him, the move could possibly allow San Francisco to sign Kaepernick for less than the $14.5 base salary he is due in 2017 and the over $19 million in cap hit, per Spotrac.com.

Kaepernick is not expected to garner that kind of money in free agency, the result of which is likely to place him on a roster where he would have to compete for a starting job for the second year in a row. There is also his national anthem protest, which, according to multiple reports, is expected to deter at least a few quarterback-needy teams.

Kaepernick started the 2016 season as the 49ers' backup quarterback. Recovery from three offseason surgeries and then a shoulder injury during training camp pushed him behind Blaine Gabbert in a quarterback competition to determine a starter. However, Kaepernick returned as the starter during Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills, would go on to win just one game, and finish with the second-worst Pro Football Focus grade of his career and rank 27th among all quarterbacks.

This past season, Kaepernick completed 59.2-percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions through 11 games.

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