Ian Rapoport appeared on NFL Network to discuss the Robert Griffin III signing by the Cleveland Browns. The conversation then shifted to Colin Kaepernick and his current status with the San Francisco 49ers. Obviously the Griffin signing changes things for a number of reasons. The former Washington Redskins quarterback is no longer an option for the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, or even the 49ers.
Earlier this week, it was reported from the NFL owners meeting that Browns executive Sashi Brown said that the team's interest in Kaepernick was overblown. The 49ers reached out to the Browns about making a trade, but the talks never became serious. "So and so is reporting we've got into contract negotiations and draft-pick negotiations with San Francisco that just weren't happening," said Brown.
Rapoport was asked, with the Browns out of the hunt for Kaepernick, if we can assume that the quarterback will remain with San Francisco. Rapoport repeated some things that we already knew, stating that the 49ers will not release Kaepernick prior to April 1, when he is fully guaranteed his base salary of $11.9 million. The 49ers have already stated that if they are unable to get an offer that they feel is sufficient for Kaepernick, they are fine keeping him on the roster of the 2016 season and having him compete for the starting job.
"He's going to be on their team April 2 when his money becomes fully guaranteed. If there are teams waiting to see if the 49ers will cut him, they will likely wait until that time," said Rapoport. He continued by saying that if there is real trade interest by the Broncos, which he believes there is, then talks will ramp up on April 2. "At that point, the expectation will be if the Broncos trade for him, they'll do it and pay his $12 million salary."
Rapoport stated that his $12 million salary is not that far off from what Griffin will get with Cleveland, as his contract is reportedly a 2-year deal worth $22 million.
There is also the possibility that the 49ers will draft a quarterback of the future with the seventh overall selection in next month's draft. In our survey of mock drafts this week, 83 percent of the projections had the 49ers selecting a quarterback with their first-round pick. The 49ers had a strong presence at Cal QB Jared Goff's pro day last week and then a more modest presence at North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz's pro day today.