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A report earlier today by Adam Schefter of ESPN stated that the parameters of a trade between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos for quarterback Colin Kaepernick have been set. The report went on to state that the only thing holding up the deal is Kaepernick's contract.
"The compensation is expected to be some type of mid-round pick," reported Schefter. Was that report a bit of a stretch?
The Broncos are definitely very interested in Kaepernick, so much so that their general manager, John Elway, met with him on Thursday at his home in the Denver area, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Further reports stated that the meeting was believed to be at least the second between the two and was likely arranged as a feeling-out process and to discuss contractual issues. This makes sense given Kaepernick's $11.9 million base salary that is now guaranteed and an earlier report by Bleacher Report stating that the Broncos had asked Kaepernick to take a nearly $7 million pay cut. However, that report came from Jason Cole whose reliability in the past has been shaky at best.
Returning to Schefter's report, the Sacramento Bee was able to clear things up a bit.
"A league source said Saturday that the Broncos and 49ers are close on the parameters of a trade but that everything is on hold until the Broncos and Kaepernick's representatives can work out an amended contract," says Matt Barrows.
Been told it's not imminent. 1. Kap, Broncos must agree on contract. 2. 49ers, Broncos then work on compensation. https://t.co/J1JCsrKMYg— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) April 2, 2016
The keyword there is "close." Last month, it was reported that Denver valued Kaepernick at a fourth-round pick. The problem is that they do not own a tradable selection in that round, which doesn't even matter because the 49ers are likely targeting their third-round selection, the 32nd of that round and the 94th overall. The Broncos' lone fourth-round pick is a compensatory selection. Those selections cannot be traded until a rule change goes into effect next year.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk seems to believe that the Schefter report got out there because "someone wanted it out there."
Florio continues by saying, "That 'someone' apparently is someone who'd like to see the deal get done, and someone who hopes that planting a report that a deal is close will provide the push necessary to get it done." While plausible, the reasoning seems rather questionable. Barrows saying that the teams are "close" makes more sense given that, not too long ago, the two seemed pretty far apart.
So where does this leave things? We simply know for a fact that Kaepernick and Elway have met again, which is not tampering because the 49ers have given their quarterback permission to seek a trade, that the two teams may be closer to resolving their compensation differences than they were just a short time ago, and that Kaepernick's guaranteed salary remains an issue for Denver.
The 49ers are set to kick off their offseason program on Monday and it will be interesting to see if that changes anything for Kaepernick, the 49ers, or the Broncos. It will be the first opportunity for new head coach Chip Kelly to actually talk football with his disgruntled quarterback – if we even make it that far.