The 49ers have dual choices per Colin Kaepernick during this point: Play him. Or recover him.
There is, of course, a third doorway that Chip Kelly walked by and afterwards slammed behind him during a start of a season. Each week of a unchanging season, including Thursday’s home detriment to Arizona, Kaepernick has served as a backup—dressed and active on diversion days—behind Blaine Gabbert.
That devise creates no sense. None. It doesn’t give a 49ers a picturesque possibility to win games in 2016, and it doesn’t assistance them find an answer during QB for a 2017 season.
Despite Phil Simms’s claims to a discordant on a game’s broadcast, Gabbert showed again Thursday that he is out of his abyss as a starting quarterback in a NFL. Gabbert did run for 70 yards (the second-highest sum of his career) and threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley, yet he also daggered a 49ers’ offense on countless occasions. His overpower of an open Rod Streater on a low post track was comically bad—the pass went sailing good over Streater’s head.
Yet, as a home throng chanted for Kaepernick, Gabbert finished out a game, San Francisco’s fourth uninterrupted detriment given a Week 1 victory.
“We’re 1–4,” 49ers manager Chip Kelly said. “We’ve got to make certain we’re giving ourselves a best possibility to win, so we’re going to demeanour during everything.”
Does that meant Kaepernick is on deck? If not, afterwards what’s a indicate of gripping him around on a roster?
Kaepernick required surgeries on his right ride and left knee during a off-season, after his 2015 debate finished due to a ripped labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Those injuries corroborated a 49ers into a dilemma with Kaepernick’s contract—his understanding includes full injury-related guarantees, so Kaepernick expected would have indispensable to pass a physical (which he wouldn’t have) for San Francisco to cut him before his 2016 income sealed in behind on Apr 1.
Kaepernick mislaid poignant weight during a march of his rehab, and that’s been one of a factors cited by Kelly in because Kaepernick has nonetheless to see diversion movement this season.
“I don’t consider he’s prepared to go full time,” Kelly said, before to Week 4. “He’s stability to work on it. … And Kap will be a initial to tell you, if we guys have been around here before, we consider his personification weight has been around 225, and he’s not during that right now. So he’s going out there and stability to work, stability to get better. He had a critical layoff in terms of being means to medical rehab. To get a full Kap for what we need, a intensity that he has, he needs to continue to usually work on a earthy aspect of things.”
But this is partial of because a 49ers’ QB abyss draft so apart has been such a head-scratcher. If Kaepernick is not prepared for diversion action, afterwards because has Kelly kept him in uniform on diversion days, with Christian Ponder inactive? Thursday night, Gabbert was subjected to several large hits; any one of them could have resulted in an damage that forced Kaepernick into a lineup.
Kelly would have had to use Kaepernick in that event. Which brings adult this question: Do a 49ers even wish Kaepernick to play?
Kaepernick’s 2017 bottom income of $14.5 million is again guaranteed for damage usually before to Apr 1. In other words, if a 49ers recover him before that date, they would be on a offshoot usually for a residue of his signing reward (a small reduction than $5 million). If he were to humour an damage that lingered by a off-season, though, Kaepernick could force a 49ers to collect adult that add-on … usually as they did this year.
A identical agreement setup came into play final deteriorate with Washington and Robert Griffin III. With Griffin’s 2017 income tied to an injury-only guarantee, a Redskins scratched him from a game-day register to equivocate any health problems.
Simply releasing Kaepernick now would force a 49ers to usually take a detriment on his tenure, with no lapse for losing him. Perhaps they’re anticipating they can trade him in a off-season for, well, whatever they can get: a late-round pick, a banking to Waffle House, something.
There also is a maze of a team’s open image. Were Kaepernick to be expelled now, small weeks after he became a face of a argumentative yet swelling inhabitant anthem protests, a authorization would leave itself open to backlash.
At some point, though, a 49ers have to make a call on Kaepernick’s tangible role. Gabbert is not a long-term (nor a short-term) answer. Even a full clearing of a slate—benching Gabbert, releasing Kaepernick, plucking a immature quarterback like Kevin Hogan or Aaron Murray off another team’s use squad—at slightest takes a step toward a future.
However, a 49ers are profitable Kaepernick scarcely $16 million for this deteriorate anyway, so Kelly might as good find out what he has left in a tank. If a 49ers do not wish Kaepernick on a field, for whatever reason, gripping him glued to a dais while Gabbert flails does no good for anyone.
The Kaepernick who helped San Francisco to a Super Bowl in 2012 and behind to a NFC pretension diversion a following deteriorate is a apart memory. Even before a labrum injury, he was regressing during an shocking rate. He still carries some-more upside than Gabbert, and positively some-more than Ponder.
It’s time to play him, or to let him go and pierce on. Those are a usually dual options that should be on a table.