Many speculated that with the Denver Broncos attempting to acquire San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick via a trade, that he might not show up for the start of the team's offseason program today. According to CSN Bay Area, he did. Now the team's coaching staff will finally have an opportunity to talk some actual football with Kaepernick and, if new head coach Chip Kelly's expressed desire to work with him is sincere, possibly mend the relationship between the quarterback and 49ers.
The 49ers had a team meeting that started at 8:30 AM PT.
#49ers offseason program began at 8:30AM with Chip Kelly's first team meeting. Colin Kaepernick was there. Trade to Broncos remains option.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) April 4, 2016
Last night, the Sacramento Bee reported that Kaepernick was expected to report this morning. However, it is still possible that a trade takes place.
Shortly following that report, someone caught a photo of Kaepernick on a flight from Denver to San Francisco around 9:30 PM, which we reported last night and backed up the Sacramento Bee report. The original poster of the photo stated that Kaepernick would not say which team he was leaning toward.
Kaepernick would not say whether he is leaning towards staying in SF or signing with Denver, per @ekrahm— Shad (@rashadalaiyan) April 4, 2016
A deal is reportedly being held up by the quarterback's contract. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported over the weekend that the two teams are close on compensation and the they could "finalize it with one phone call."
Denver is reportedly willing to pay $7 million of Kaepernick's salary and Kaepernick is unwilling to take a pay cut, so not parties would like the 49ers to pay the $4.9 million difference. It's an odd request of a team that has repeatedly said that they are fine keeping Kaepernick on the roster and even stated at one point that they would need to be "blown away" by an offer to deal the quarterback.
Talks heated back up on Thursday when Broncos general manager John Elway met with Kaepernick, reportedly for at least the second time, at his home in the Denver area. The meeting was likely arranged as a feeling-out process and to discuss contractual issues.
The 49ers have three other quarterbacks on the roster. Blaine Gabbert, who took over as the team's starter after Kaepernick was benched in November, Dylan Thompson, and newly signed Thad Lewis. They also own the seventh overall selection in this year's NFL Draft.
Shortly following his benching, Kaepernick was placed on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. He is recovering from multiple surgeries. While none are expected to cause long-term issues, he has had surgeries on his left shoulder, thumb, and knee since being placed on injured reserve. He had been recovering from his surgeries at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.
Since being drafted out of Nevada by the 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Kaepernick has led San Francisco to two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.