The San Francisco 49ers are nearing a trade with the Denver Broncos involving quarterback Colin Kaepernick. All signs seem to indicate that the 49ers desperately want to rid themselves Kaepernick and his fairly hefty contract, which is somewhat puzzling.
A mere two years ago, the 49ers inked Kaepernick to a massive six-year, $126 million contract, seemingly believing him to be a superstar quarterback. Now, two coaching changes and one embarrassing benching in favor of one Blaine Gabbert later, Kaepernick has fallen out of favor in San Francisco.
But that’s truly unfair. After advancing to the NFC Championship Game for three straight seasons, two of which were under the direction of Kaepernick, the Niners fell apart in 2014. The reason being was the contentious relationship between head coach Jim Harbaugh and 49ers management. Then, Harbaugh was fired following the season, and unproven assistant coach Jim Tomsula was granted head coaching duties for the 2015 campaign. 2015 was a miserable year for the Niners, and, alas, Tomsula was fired as a result.
Enter Chip Kelly. Hired as head coach of San Francisco this offseason after falling out of favor as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, all indications were that Kelly would be Kaepernick’s saving grace. Kelly achieved much success when coaching the Oregon Ducks with running quarterbacks at the helm. Considering Kaepernick is just that, it seemed like a match made in Heaven. So why are the Niners looking to rid themselves of Kaepernick before giving him a shot under the leadership of Kelly? And why are they doing it after all of the good quarterbacks are off the free agent market? And, also, why are they doing it in a year in which the quarterback draft class is as weak as this one? Beats me.
Kaepernick should be given one more chance in the City by the Bay, and it’s a crying shame that he likely won’t. One of the true pitfalls of today’s NFL is that young quarterbacks are often not given a fair shot, and too much blame from a team failing to live up to expectations is placed upon them. A major reason why that is is because the NFL media has a bad habit nowadays of going for the low-hanging fruits that serve as the easiest ways to draw in viewers/listeners/readers, and one of those low-hanging fruits is quarterback chatter. Because no one wants to hear why a bad offensive line is hurting a team. That’s not interesting enough. They want to hear quarterback shaming.
Kaepernick’s situation is a lot like Robert Griffin III‘s was in the nation’s capital. He’s been a victim of bad coaching, overzealous ownership, ridiculous media shaming and an entire organization’s impatience. Trading him would be a mistake for the 49ers, but I guess they’ve probably gotten used to making those by now.
Cole Little is a staff writer for EndZoneScore. Leave him a comment in the comments section below.