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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Barrows: “I think Kyle Shanahan is open minded to Colin Kaepernick”

Jan 27, 2017 at 7:32 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers look like they are ready to move on from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the forced marriage between Kaepernick and the 49ers can't last another season. What happens if the 49ers can't get a quarterback in free agency? What happens if they can't negotiate a trade for someone like Washington's Kirk Cousins, who may have the franchise tag placed on him, or New England's Jimmy Garoppolo? What happens if they decide to pass on a quarterback with the second overall pick and groom someone they select in a later round? Is there a place for Kaepernick in San Francisco as a short-term solution?

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee joined KNBR on Thursday and was asked what his guess was in regards to Kaepernick's future. "I think Kyle Shanahan is open minded to Colin Kaepernick," Barrows said. "Like you said, the cupboard is bare when it comes to quarterbacks and the 49ers. So, Kyle Shanahan may reach that conclusion. 'We're not going to get Kirk Cousins. We're not going to overreach for Deshaun Watson with the number two pick. So we do need Colin Kaepernick as a veteran here and we'll bring in a couple of other ones.'

"I mean, he's worked with Brian Hoyer, for example, who's going to be a free agent. He's worked with him in Cleveland. He's worked with Matt Schaub – another soon-to-be free agent. Schaub has been the backup in Atlanta the last few years. So there are options. There are no long-term options at this point. So bring somebody back like Kaepernick who's on a one-year deal? That's going to be discussed. That's going to be an option and I don't think that Kyle Shanahan is going to turn his back or turn away from any of those options at this point."

Whatever happens, the decision on whether or not to try to keep Kaepernick will be up to Shanahan, who is expected to have much of the control over the 53-man roster. Barrows points out that 49ers CEO Jed York likely hopes to hire the head coach and general manager and then stay out of their way as the duo attempts to rebuild the roster from a clean slate.

"I think the intention right now is for Jed York to make these hires and then get out of the way," Barrows said. "That's the intention. That's what he'll say during that introductory press conference. Now, whether he can do that, whether that's possible for him to extricate himself, that remains to be seen. But I think that, at least, is the intent at this point."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

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