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Maiocco on Kaepernick: “If he doesn’t opt out, I think the 49ers would release him”

Jan 26, 2017 at 5:51 PM

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick will have the option to become a free agent in March and he is expected to do so, even though he stands to make $14.5 million with the San Francisco 49ers next season. A new regime is headed to the 49ers. The team plans to hire Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as its new head coach and will pair him with a general manager of his choosing. The duo will have the task of rebuilding one of the least talented rosters in the league.

Shanahan has had some success with a number of quarterbacks in the league. Would Shanahan and the new general manager want to work with Kaepernick, the quarterback from the previous three regimes? 49ers insider Matt Maiocco was on 95.7 The Game on Thursday to discuss, among other things, why it is unlikely that Kaepernick returns to San Francisco in 2017.

"He will be a free agent," Maiocco said. "I just don't see -- if he doesn't opt out, I think the 49ers would release him. Even if they want to bring him back, would they want to bring him back at nearly $15 million? Would they be better served to try and bring him back on a deal? Last year, we know that the Broncos were willing to pay him $7 million to come in with backup money and compete for a starting job. Based on everything that's gone down in the past year, I don't know that the market for Colin Kaepernick would be more than $7 million.

"And we've talked about the off-the-field stuff, which -- it's polarizing. I think a lot of people just really don't understand what points he was trying to make and has made. But at the same time, a lot of people are really turned off by the fact that he kneels for the national anthem and says that he will continue to do that until he sees change."

Maiocco went on to explain that he thinks Kaepernick's protest will be a factor in his market value as a free agent. "I can assure you, there are X number of teams who wouldn't even consider him because of what impact it would have with their fan base. How many of those teams need a quarterback? How many of those teams are in areas of this country where they wouldn't even think about doing this?"

Maiocco used Kaepernick's trip to play the Buffalo Bills this past season as an example. "Right then, I was like, 'Okay, well I know one thing. Here's one place he's not going to be playing next season," Maiocco said.

In December, Kaepernick said that what he heard and saw in Buffalo made it clear that the fans there did not support his cause. "It was very evident that this was something that they don't agree with, which, to me, I don't understand," Kaepernick said of his game against the Bills.

One reason the 49ers are a desirable location for Shanahan and some general manager candidates is because they will have a clean slate with which to work. The new regime will have complete control to build the roster however they envision.

Maiocco continued: "My question then becomes, 'If you're a new coach and you're a new GM, are you going to be inclined to keep the quarterback who's been here for six years?' Or are you going to say, 'It's time to move on. We're going to bring in our own people and we're going to build this thing from the ground.'"

You can listen to the entire 23-minute interview on 95.7 The Game.


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