Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk and a 9News report out of Colorado are helping keep the Colin Kaepernick saga moving forward. Kaepernick's base salary of $11.9 million became fully guaranteed when the San Francisco 49ers did nothing prior to the 1 PM roster deadline today. However, the 49ers quarterback can still be traded without much financial responsibility on the part of San Francisco and that is what Mike Klis of 9News, an NBC news affiliate in Colorado, believes might still happen.
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Klis is reporting that the Denver Broncos remain interested in Kaepernick. He had this to say in a 9News report.
Although Kaepernick's $11.9 million salary became formally guaranteed with the 49ers following the end of the NFL's business day Thursday, the Broncos remain interested in acquiring the quarterback. Broncos' general manager John Elway was well aware San Francisco was not going to release Kaepernick by the time his salary was to become fully guaranteed on the start of business Friday.
Klis states that Broncos general manager John Elway believes that Kaepernick has too much trade value for the 49ers to have simply released him without any compensation. The Broncos recently stated that they value Kaepernick at a fourth-round draft pick. The problem is that they do not own a fourth-round selection that they can trade. Their only selection in that round is a compensatory pick. He also believes that Kaepernick's injury situation "made his release impractical."
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The 49ers can still trade Kaepernick to a team that is willing to pick up his current contract. A new team would not have to pay him immediately 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 49ers' roster until September would only guarantee him various offseason bonuses.
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If the Broncos want Kaepernick, which the report indicates is the case, they would need to make some roster moves to acquire him. With just $1.62 million in available cap space according to the latest NFLPA report, 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.