San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants out of the Bay Area and prefers the New York Jets to be his next destination.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported than Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco after a not so memorable 2015 NFL season. The quarterback faced struggles on-field and was benched midway through the season.
“The Jets, aware of Kaepernick’s desire to play for them, are intrigued but still in the early stages of their offseason planning and evaluation.” Mehta said. He also added that the Jets are afraid of tampering after being hit with a $100,000 fine by the NFL.
An important factor for the player’s movement will be Kaepernick’s six-year contract extension in 2014 for $114 million. So, a move to the Jets can only be facilitated by release or a trade.
San Francisco on the other hand can release Kaepernick before April 1, 2016 to save $8.5 million. The quarterback’s salary ($11.9 million) will become guaranteed next season, per Spotrac.
It has to be noted that the Jets have publicly announced Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback for the upcoming season. Trading in Kaepernick as their No. 2 quarterback won’t be a smart move. However, sticking to Fitzpatrick would be a huge commitment since the signal-caller turns 34 next year.
The move may not be a smooth one for Kaepernick if Niners’ owner Jed York’s words are anything to go by.
“I’ve always had a very, very high opinion of Kap. Kap’s a great kid. He’s done a lot of great things for us. Again, this is a fresh start for everybody.” York stated. He did not guarantee Kaepernick a starting spot next season either, highlighting the lack of salary cap issue.
York mentioned that the decision of selecting a quarterback is up to the coach and then the staff. He was quick to mention that the Niners’ have the third-most salary cap room in the league which would help them maneuver in the market more freely.
Photo courtesy: profootballtalkline.com