There are a lot of people with significant public platforms trying to convince anyone who'll listen that regarding Colin Kaepernick, don't believe your own eyes and don't believe your own ears. Michael Lombardi of The Ringer is the latest to join the circus.

On the latest episode of "The NFL Show" on The Ringer, Lombardi said, "This is the biggest joke to me in the league right now – is Kaepernick wants a meeting with the 49ers." That meeting between Kaepernick and the 49ers took place on Wednesday, so obviously General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan didn't think it was such a joke. As a matter of fact, they've both had several positive things to say about Kaepernick since taking over their respective positions, and again after the meeting in the case of Lynch.

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Lombardi also offered, "He's going to be begging for a job in another couple of weeks, who's going to sign Kaepernick?" along with other baseless, emotionally-charged assertions that reveal his obvious personal dislike of Kaepernick. At least he can say he's not alone. It is mind boggling that industry professionals can pass off such ill-informed opinions as fact with blatant disregard for their own journalistic integrity. There's no inside source greater than common sense.

Consider this, there are three men who have a say in whether or not Colin Kaepernick will play football for the 49ers in 2017: Lynch, Shanahan and Kaepernick. Neither of these three men have suggested that he won't be on the team, and in fact, every public statement from all three indicate that at the least they are open to it, and in some cases, seem to be looking forward to it. Strangely, the overwhelming majority of statements coming from every source other than these three men, suggest that Kaepernick will not and should not be on the team. The accepted narrative can generally be summed up as follows: Kaepernick is expected to opt out, and if he doesn't opt out, the 49ers will certainly cut him, because everyone can clearly see that it is best for everyone involved if he just moves on and gets a fresh start somewhere else. How many times have you heard that one in the past couple of months?

That accepted narrative has been stated over and over since the season ended. This is where common sense comes is: How could the organization have its mind made up that it doesn't want Kaepernick before the people who have been entrusted to make that decision were even hired? Also, if Kaepernick had made up his mind to opt out and test free agency at the end of the season when Trent Baalke was the general manager, why should anyone assume that he still feels the same way after the hires of Lynch and Shanahan?

For clarity, let's examine some of the significant quotes regarding the quarterback position in general, and Kaepernick specifically, from both Shanahan and Lynch since they were hired by the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan
"People have won in this league being pure throwers and can make every throw in the pocket. People have won in this league making plays with their legs. There's lots of ways to do it. When you do feel that they have certain characteristics, whether it's their intelligence, their mobility, or their throwing ability, you've got to think of how can I put a scheme together that allows them to use those traits and does he have the players around him to allow him to use those traits."

"Colin's had success in this league. He took a team to the Super Bowl so obviously Colin has a lot of ability. He's not a guy I've studied since he was at Nevada, I liked him coming out of college and I'm looking forward to studying him now."

John Lynch
"I'm looking forward to sitting down with him. I really am. Colin and I, when I did some 49ers games, I'd say we hit it off. I'd say there was a trust there. I think that trust extends, and I was thrilled when he reached out. I'm looking forward to talking with him."

"Every time we talk about Kap, I think of the guy that was in the Super Bowl. That wasn't that far away. I remember broadcasting and coming in here, sitting down and being very impressed with the young man."

"We had a great discussion. Colin left excited, we left excited. We've only been on the job a couple weeks. I can tell you, we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he's in a real good place."

All public comments by Lynch and Shanahan regarding Kaepernick indicate that they are evaluating him as a viable option to play quarterback for the 49ers in 2017. What motivation could Lynch and Shanahan have to lead Kaepernick and the public on if they were not actually considering him? If Shanahan liked Kaepernick coming out of college, what could he possibly see on film to make him feel otherwise now? Are we to believe he's regressed into a worse quarterback than he was coming out of college? Despite what many pundits would have you believe, Kaepernick did not play poorly in 2016. On the contrary, he played really well, especially considering the circumstances around him. Anyone who watches every snap Kaepernick played with an objective eye will conclude that he made sizable strides as a passer and showed a much greater awareness, pocket presence and accuracy than he had previously as the season went on (yes, the Chicago snow game was an aberration).

The constant suggestions (or maybe prayers is more accurate) that Kaepernick should not and will not be with the 49ers, despite no indications to support those claims from the only two men who can make that call, reek of a desperate smear campaign by a group of individuals who are terrified at the prospect of seeing Kaepernick emerge unscathed from his national anthem protest and still employed by an NFL franchise. I think that is pretty pathetic.