Colin Kaepernick was supposed to play a pivotal roll of the San Francisco 49ers offense for years to come. In return, both sides agreed on a new $114 million extension not even a year ago. But after a dismal start, fractured locker room, sub-par performances, and tarnished relationship with upper management, the Niners appear ready to move on from their franchise quarterback.
According to a report from CBS Sports resident expert, Jason La Canfora, it appears completely certain that Kaepernick will not be with the 49ers in 2016. After poor performances this season, Kaepernick was sent to the bench for backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who led the team to a surprising win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Before being benched, Kaepernick had only thrown for a touchdown in three of eight games this season, four of the six coming in the fourth quarter. On the season, Kaepernick has 1,615 yards, six touchdown, and five interceptions.
Since Kaepernick's $12 million base salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, the 49ers will certainly be looking to trade their quarterback for draft picks like they did with Alex Smith in 2013.
Although it is easy to blame the quarterback for a team's struggle, not all the blame can rest on Kaepernick's shoulders. The 49ers were already projected to struggle on offense, but failing to score much at all is extremely concerning. Yes Kaepernick has been bad, but it doesn't help when it seems that the 49ers are always losing and leaving the 49ers offense extremely predictable. Kaepernick has evident potential, leading his team to two consecutive NFC Championships and nearly won them a Super Bowl.
However, teams will be hesitant and tread lightly with Kaepernick and be cautious not to give up too much for the quarterback because of his struggles and the lucrative contract.