A lot of people are getting on San Francisco’s case because they haven’t cut Colin Kaepernick. The reason is simple. They can’t. Most people think this all started with Kaepernick refusing to stand for the National Anthem, but you are wrong. It started on April 1st of this year. In Kaepernick’s contract there is a clause that he must be cut before April 1st so that San Francisco wouldn’t have to pay him 11.6 million for 2016. Almost everyone expected him to be cut. He wasn’t because of a clause that said they could not cut him if he was injured and he was unable to pass a physical before the April 1st date.
Then came the National Anthem incident. At that point, the 49ers were caught between a rock and a hard place. If they kept Kaepernick, they would have to pay him 11.6 million dollars. If they cut him, they would still have to pay him 11.6 million dollars but would have to either trade for a another quarterback as a back up or find a free agent. Either way, it would cost them an additional 3 to 4 million to sign a decent back up quarterback. And if they made a trade for one, they would also have to give up a few players.
Even if another team picked up Kaepernick, which is unlikely, they would only have to pay him $760,000 and the 49ers would have to pay the difference. Any team that would pick him up would offer the $760,000 knowing that the 49ers would be forced to pay the difference and it wouldn’t matter to Kaepernick, because he makes the same money regardless.
Here is what I expect to see the 49ers to do. They will keep Kaepernick on the bench even with a big lead but if they are forced to they will have him hand off on every play to minimize the chance of his getting hurt. The day after the season ends, they will cut him and move on.