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San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke spoke to the media this morning at the NFL Scouting Combine and touched quickly on a number of topics.
One of the more bold statements by Baalke was saying that QB Colin Kaepernick would be on the roster on April 1. Kaepernick is guaranteed his base salary of $11.9 million on that date and will count about $15.9 million against the 49ers' cap in 2016. There was a lot of speculation that Kaepernick might be traded prior to that deadline.
Baalke said that the team's expectation is that Kaepernick and the man who took over for him following his benching, Blaine Gabbert, would compete for the starting job. "The last time we talked to Colin, Colin was excited," said Baalke. He stated that the main focus with Kaepernick is getting him healthy.
Kaepernick's representatives are reportedly in Indianapolis this week to meet with the 49ers.
Baalke felt that TE Vance McDonald did some good things last season. "He knows he'd got to get more consistent catching the football. It's something that he continues to work on," he said.
Trent Baalke Addresses Media at 2016 NFL Combine
Regarding the team's situation with Anthony Davis, Baalke says that he has had contact with the former 49ers offensive lineman that retired abruptly last offseason to get healthy. However, he has no idea where things stand and there is nothing to talk about until Davis officially files for reinstatement, which he has continuously said that he would do.
When asked about LB Ahmad Brooks' future with the 49ers, Baalke simply stated that he was on the roster. While Brooks is signed with the team through 2017, there has been a lot of speculation that he would not remain with the 49ers for very long.
Baalke said that he spoke to RB Carlos Hyde, who was injured with a broken foot for much of last season, three days ago and he has been working out with Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore in Miami. Gore spent last season with the 49ers prior to the mass exodus by several team veterans. He says that his foot is coming along, but also said, "He's not game ready yet by any stretch."
As far as the draft is concerned, Baalke said he and new head coach Chip Kelly, who he described as having an "easy personality," value the same prototype when it comes to player evaluation. They both want "big players." He says that's what the team has been looking for since Mike Nolan was the head coach and that philosophy has not changed. Baalke left open the possibility that the team might draft a quarterback. "We feel pretty good with guys we have, but we're always looking," said Baalke.
Baalke and Kelly have not spent a lot of time together because Kelly has been involved in getting his coaching staff together and Baalke has been involved in the draft for the past 17 days. He says that the pair have had a lot of good discussions though.
Baalke spoke highly of WR DeAndre Smelter, who did not play last season as he rehabed the torn ACL that he suffered during his senior season at Georgia Tech. He said that the team expects good things from him.
Baalke touched on RB Jarryd Hayne a bit saying that he "learned a lot, did some good things for us, and expecting him to come back and have a better feel for the game."