San Fransisco 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick has the ability to opt out of his contract if he’d like, and reports indicate that he’s planning to do so. It means he’ll be a free agent this spring, able to sign anywhere that he wants.
The idea that the 49ers would move on from Kaepernick has already been fairly well accepted, though he hadn’t officially left yet. His career with the team started floundering when head coach Jim Harbaugh was run out of town. With Harbaugh, he took the team to the Super Bowl. Without him, the team has gone through two coaches in two years and is still technically without a head coach – though they’re expected to hire Falcons’ OC Kyle Shanahan. The QB play has been inconsistent and Kaepernick has bounced back and forth between the field and the bench.
It is worth noting that, though the QB may have made his mind up already, the move still can’t become official. According to his contract, he’s not allowed to opt out until March.
On top of that, this situation is a bit confusing since Ian Rapoport already reported that he’d opt out in December. At the time, Kaepernick said:
“It blew me away where that came from or who said it. I wish I knew who said. I would go have a talk with him.”
One interesting factor here is that the 49ers would need to pay him $19.3 million in 2017. By opting out, he’s basically saying he thinks he can make more as a free agent – or that he’ll take less just to play anywhere else.