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San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick will be on the team's roster tomorrow. As expected, the 49ers did not make a roster move involving the quarterback prior to today's 1 PM (PT) deadline, meaning that Kaepernick will be a Niner on April 1, a date that guarantees him his $11.9 million base salary.
There has been much speculation surrounding the quarterback, who was benched in November in favor of Blaine Gabbert during the 2015 season, and whether or not he will play for the 49ers in 2016. Shortly after his benching, Kaepernick was placed on injured reserve when a left shoulder injury came into light. He is recovering from multiple surgeries. While none are expected to be long-term issues, he has had surgeries on his left shoulder, right thumb, and left knee since being placed on injured reserve and had been recovering from his surgeries at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.
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In February, just a day after general manager Trent Baalke stated that the quarterback would be on the roster on April 1, Kaepernick's representatives requested permission to seek a trade, which the 49ers eventually granted. The Denver Broncos remain as the only team with reported interest in Kaepernick after the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets declared that they were out of the Kap sweepstakes. Cleveland recently signed Robert Griffin III and are expected to draft a quarterback with their second overall pick in the draft.
What does being on the 49ers' roster mean for Kaepernick? Not much has changed. The 49ers can still trade him to a team that is willing to pick up his current contract. A new team would not have to pay him immediately anyway and would still have an opportunity to renegotiate his contract because base salaries are paid weekly once the regular season begins in September. A trade would still shift his $11.9 million base salary to the new team and keeping him on the roster until September would only guarantee him various offseason bonuses.
If genuinely interested in Kaepernick, the Broncos were not missing out by waiting to see what the 49ers did prior to April 1. They can still get him. However, they would need to make some roster moves to do so. With just $1.62 million in available cap space according to the NFLPA, Denver cannot currently absorb Kaepernick into their top 51 player salaries. If they do make a move to acquire him, it is not expected to happen until later in April, perhaps even during the draft itself.
The #49ers did not make any transactions today, which means Colin Kaepernick will be on the roster April 1 and his $11.9M is guaranteed.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 31, 2016
CSN Bay Area recently reported that Kaepernick did not undergo a physical this month. "He has not been given a full physical because there's no reason to give him a full physical. They have already stated they are not cutting him. Kaepernick will likely take a physical when he is scheduled to report to the team's offseason program on April 4," said Matt Maiocco.
Kaepernick's representatives have stated that, should he remain with the 49ers past April 1, that he would be present for the team's offseason program, which begins on Monday.
In addition to Kaepernick and Gabbert, other quarterbacks on the 49ers' roster include Dylan Thompson and the newly signed Thad Lewis.