Sunday during the NFL Network’s pregame show NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that according to his sources QB Colin Kaepernick will void the remaining year of his contract with the 49ers. He indicated during his report that although he is set to void his deal that a return to the 49ers is still very much in play. Rapoport pointed to the improvement in play, his relationship with Head Coach Chip Kelly and that his relationship with the organization was in a good place as reasons for a potential return. Rapoport also reported that the rational of Kaepernick voiding his deal is based in his desire to sign a deal that “Much greater piece of mind” and that he was unhappy with the structure of his previous deal, which was structure as a “pay as you go” type contract.
Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com reported this morning that his sources told him that no decision had been made on the matter. Today during the availability session that the players have with the media Colin Kaepernick was asked about the report and if he was indeed set to void his deal. He responded to the question by refuting the report and indicated that his decision would not be made until after the season was over.
Now it could be likely that Colin Kaepernick truly did know who passed that information along to Ian Rapoport and it could be likely that he is being forthright with the media in stating that he will not make a decision on his future until the season is over but the message has been sent, the seed has been planted. His growth as a person over the last year or so should give him the credibility to trust that he is being honest with the media and the public, that he really did not authorize the leak or that he has made his decision. Colin Kaepernick is an incredibly bright individual who understands the position he is now in, he now holds the power that every player should have, the power over his career. A power that the report of Ian Rapoport, whether valid or not should scare the entire organization. The 49ers are organization that has used the media to further their agenda more than any other team in the NFL, they are have become accustomed to leaking information about the future of coaches, executives, and players to certain media members. They are now on the clock, they only have 4 more games and up to a few days before the league year begins in 2017 to prove to Colin Kaepernick, his agent and his family that the 49ers are the best place for him going forward. That even though the relationship between the two sides (excluding General Manager Trent Baalke) has seemingly been repaired and that his level of play has steadily improved since being inserted as the starter that the 49ers organization cannot take him for granted anymore. They have to prove that they have a plan in place for to turn the fortunes of this organization around, that they are willing to be aggressive in free agency and in the draft. That they will add immediate contributors that will help this team return to respectability, if not the best option at the position will walk out the door and they will have to hit the reset button on the most important position of all of professional sports