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While holding an online chat with fans, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee answered a question today about San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke ... and QB Colin Kaepernick was part of the answer. The question asked if Kaepernick is actually successful in 2016, does his relationship with with Baalke doom his chances of being a long-term option for the 49ers? After all, while speaking with the media on Thursday, the first time he had done so since the end of the 2015 season in January, Kaepernick stated that he has not spoken to Baalke for some time. Certainly not since the offseason drama of surgeries and trade requests.
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"I haven't had any discussions with [Trent Baalke]. But, once again, I don't want to get into any specifics. I just want to focus on football and making sure I'm prepared for this upcoming season," said Kaepernick when questioned about it.
Barrows answered the question, but also threw in the fact that no one should assume that Baalke is safe. After all, as the general manager, much of this team's roster turmoil falls squarely on his shoulders. It's his job to keep the roster stocked with talent for the coaching staff to utilize.
While the 49ers' 2016 draft has been praised by multiple media outlets, that was not necessarily the case for previous drafts with 2012 sticking out like a sore thumb. None of those players are even on the 49ers' roster anymore with just three of the seven selections (Joe Looney, Trenton Robinson, and Cam Johnson) on any NFL roster.
Barrows replied with the following during his chat.
"You're assuming that Baalke is safe. If the 49ers struggle this year like they did last year -- national observers as well as Vegas think they will -- then the 49ers could be looking for a new GM. Then again, if the 49ers struggle, it might mean that Kaepernick struggled. Which is to say, there's a scenario where both are gone. (And if Kap and the 49ers are successful, a scenario in which both stay)."
Kaepernick was a Jim Harbaugh guy, so it might be easy to place the blame on his shoulders if he gets significant playing time and the 49ers' season goes south. Of course, if Kaepernick surprises and flourishes this season, it could buy Baalke some time with the organization. Regardless of what might happen, this is a very important season for both Baalke and Kaepernick.