The Colin Kaepernick era is, in all likelihood, over in San Francisco. On Saturday, the 49ers placed the quarterback on injured reserve – effectively ending his season. The cause of the injury wasn’t specified by the team, but it is widely reported to be a torn labrum in Kaepernick’s non-throwing shoulder.
His move to the injured reserve ends a horrendous season for the quarterback that saw his regression from last season continue – even with a change in the coaching staff. Kaepernick had passed for six touchdowns and five interceptions through nine games before he was benched earlier this month by Niners head coach Jim Tomsula.
The question now is what Kaepernick’s future with the team holds. Despite leading the team to three consecutive NFC Championship games from 2011-2013, Kaepernick hasn’t had the smoothest starts to his career. He might have been the cause of a fight between two teammates this season, and last year found himself in trouble off the field. Those combined with his erratic play on the field could lead to the team severing ties with the quarterback this offseason.
The team has been in a free fall since Jim Harbaugh left to become the Michigan head coach. Several players announced their retirements or left the team along with both of Harbaugh’s offensive and defensive coordinators. Letting Kaepernick go would allow the team to do a full reboot and start fresh, and would be a financially prudent move, according to CBS Sports.
“If the 49ers decide to part ways with Kaepernick after the 2015 season, it won’t cost much thanks to Kaepernick’s team-friendly contract. The team would take a dead cap hit of $7.4 million in 2016, according to Spotrac. On the other hand, if Kaepernick’s still on the roster, he’ll eat up about $16.77 million in cap space. That being said, Kaepernick would need to be fully healed before the team could cut him.”
And the move to the injured reserve list will be even more painful for Kaepernick, as he will lose close to a $1 million in potential salary.
“Also, thanks to Kaepernick’s contract, the 49ers will save some money this season, as noted by former NFL agent Joel Corry…Kaepernick’s contract includes a bonus of $125,000 for every game that he’s on the active roster and since he’ll be missing the final seven games, that means he’ll miss out on $875,000.”
(Via CBS Sports)