After a 1-4 start, the 49ers are once again allowing Colin Kaepernick to take the helm of the team in a game against the Buffalo Bills, 3-2. In order to put himself at the starting quarterback position, Kaepernick had to rework his contract that did away with pay guarantees in case of injury. Kaepernick may well have been cut before this season but an injury from last season was not healed by May 1st, which forced the 49ers to pay Kaepernick whether they kept or cut him to the tune of over 11 million.
It is doubtful that the 49ers would have played him this year without that concession and Kaepernick needed to play in order to interest other NFL teams for next season. Kaepernick is getting this opportunity, not because the team has faith in his skills but more because Blaine Gabbert was playing so miserably. His QB rating of 69.6 ranks him 30th among the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
The big question is how the fans will react, seeing their starting QB taking a knee during the National Anthem. If he falters in the game, the crowd could turn ugly very quickly. Even if he plays decently or even well, there is bound to be a lot of animosity since he started a trend that offends the sensitivities of many Americans who either served in the armed forces or maybe lost a loved one somewhere across the globe.
Kaepernick hasn’t started a game since Nov 1st of last year. He was replaced because his performance had dropped way off. The 49ers are trying to salvage as much of this season as they can so as to not hurt season tickets next year. Should they continue their losing ways, they will be in a good position to pick up a QB in the next draft and by cutting Kaepernick, they will have 11 million to spend in signing him.