According to a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the 49ers are working to restructure the contract of quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a way that allows him to opt out of his deal at the end of the year while protecting the 49ers from an injury guarantee that exists in the current contract.
“49ers and QB Colin Kaepernick are closing in on a restructured contract to alleviate concerns regarding injury guarantees, source said,” Rapoport tweeted Friday. “The reworked Colin Kaepernick contract, which could be done today, would include giving him an opportunity to void after this season. My understanding of Colin Kaepernick’s redone contract is it eliminates guarantees in 2017 & cuts off the final 3 years. A shorter deal.”
Kaepernick is currently signed through 2020. Under the current deal, Kaepernick’s 2017 salary of $14.5 million becomes fully guaranteed if he suffers a serious injury. Removing the injury guarantee from the contract frees up the 49ers to play Kaepernick this season without the concern of losing future money in case of injury.
49ers head coach Chip Kelly said following his team’s 33-21 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday that the coaches would be evaluating everything, including quarterback. Kelly reiterated on Friday that everyone on the team is “on notice” and that coaches have looked at game film from Thursday but no decisions had been made about who would start next Sunday against Buffalo.
“Yeah, we haven’t talked anything about who’s starting at any position,” Kelly said. “Really, what we did is just, you grade the tape yourself and then when we sit down as a staff it’s just, what’d we do well on this play? What’d we do poorly on this play? Why was this play successful? Why was this play not successful? What were the reasons behind it? And then, we’ll spend a little bit more time this afternoon kind of going on what’s our plan going forward.”