John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan explains the 49ers’ lack of interest in Kaepernick

Apr 10, 2017 at 4:14 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have brought in Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley this offseason. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have been busy evaluating quarterbacks in the draft. One quarterback who has not been an option for Lynch and Shanahan is Colin Kaepernick, who finished the 2016 season as the 49ers' starting signal caller and remains an available free agent.

Because Kaepernick is viewed as a backup quarterback, he would need to fit the system of an NFL team's offense in order to be considered for a roster spot. Kaepernick has not been viewed as a good fit for what Shanahan wants to do on offense so signing him as a possible backup does not make much sense. That's why the 49ers seemed fine with letting him hit free agency and have not looked back.

Kaepernick is a different type of quarterback than Hoyer and Barkley. On Monday, Shanahan explained that it is important to have quarterbacks who have similar styles. He stated that having quarterbacks with different styles of play can take a toll on an offense.

"You don't just run stuff and think you're going to be good at it right away," Shanahan said when asked if the system fit was the reason Kaepernick was not brought back. "You've got to commit to it and work at it year-round, and it's all the positions. When all your quarterbacks have different ways to be successful, which I've been in situations like that and you try to prepare them best, it does take a toll on your offense.

"What are you trying to get good at? You can't practice everything. You can't be great at everything. You've kind of got to commit to something and do it over and over and over again and once the type of running game or drop-back game, you're going to commit to one quarterback is completely different than the other, then that does affect your team. That's why I think it can be harder when those type of guys are going through competitions and stuff and like that because even though you're trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks you're also being unfair to a team. You don't really know what direction you're going.

"So, if you have your pick of the best world, you'd like those guys to be somewhat similar, not just because that's how you want the quarterbacks, just because of the work you're doing for the rest of the guys on the roster."

Hoyer has played within Shanahan's system. The eight-year veteran started 14 games while Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for a season (2014) in Cleveland. That year, Hoyer passed for a career-high 3,326 yards, completing 55.3 percent of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions.

The 49ers have also looked at a number of quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class. Among them have been the quarterbacks who many believe to be the top four prospects in the draft. They are North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer.

John Lynch attended the pro days of Trubisky, Mahomes, and Kizer. He also took part in a semi-private workout with Watson in between pro days. Shanahan has been able to meet with some of the quarterbacks. The 49ers hosted Trubisky last week and are hosting Watson on Tuesday. Mahomes is also expected to visit with the 49ers, but nothing has been scheduled yet. At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Lynch and Shanahan got to sit down and meet with Trubisky, Watson, and Kizer.

The 49ers are permitted to host up to 30 players for visits at the team's headquarters in Santa Clara. Visitors to the team's headquarters are not allowed to work out for the team unless they are local prospects.

Both Lynch and Shanahan, while not tipping their hand, have been complimentary about each quarterback when asked about them. The NFL Draft kicks off on April 27 in Philadelphia.

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