Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported today that the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick are closing in on a restructured contract. The new contract would take away some of the concerns regarding guaranteed money should the quarterback be injured. In fact, Rapoport reports that the redone contract may eliminate 2017 guarantees completely.
#49ers and QB Colin Kaepernick are closing in on a restructured contract to alleviate concerns regarding injury guarantees, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 7, 2016
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that the deal looks like it could be a two-year one, but that nothing has been finalized yet. Rapoport said on NFL Network that the potential new deal would allow Kaepernick to void the 2017 season should he want to become a free agent after this season.
Prior to the 2015 season, Kaepernick and the 49ers agreed to a new six-year, $114 million deal that keeps the quarterback under contract with the team through the 2020 season. However, under the current contract, should Kaepernick suffer a serious injury, $14.5 million of his 2017 salary would be guaranteed. That's a lot of money to commit to a player that didn't beat Blaine Gabbert for the starting job.
Today, head coach Chip Kelly was asked if his contract played any part in the decision to not play Kaepernick this season. "I played him in the first game," Kelly answered. "So, that kind of answers that question."
Kaepernick has insisted that he is ready to play. "I'm always ready to step on that field and looking forward to that opportunity," he said following the 49ers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks last month.
"A source with knowledge of Kaepernick's progress said the quarterback is close to his ideal, 225-pound weight but still has some pounds to gain," writes Barrows.