Here is a link to my Thursday column about Colin Kaepernick’s whopper contract. The full  column runs below:

SANTA CLARA — The Pampers are off Colin Kaepernick.

I’m not saying he wears Pampers. But until now, he was perceived as a beginner quarterback, a learning quarterback, and most of all, a baby quarterback. Forget all that.

When a 26-year-old guy signs a six-year contract worth as much as $126 million, when a guy gets $61 million guaranteed, he no longer is a baby. He’s a grown man with grown-man expectations. Like being good enough to win a Super Bowl. Like being compared to Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Grown-up stuff. Serious stuff. No room for excuses. At up to 21 big ones per annum, no one gets the benefit of an excuse — certainly not the inexperience excuse.

The Pampers are off Colin Kaepernick. He signed his megadeal on Wednesday, the most guaranteed money ever in the NFL. And now his life has changed forever. When a man gets that kind of dough, you expect his performance to improve. You expect him to do better at benchmark numbers.

Take completion percentage. Kaepernick’s career completion percentage is 59.8. No big deal. His completion percentage last season was 58.4. That ranked 31st of 37 quarterbacks. That’s bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. Philip Rivers led the league in completion percentage at 69.5. Kaepernick needs to do better.

More on completion percentage. Joe Montana’s best completion percentage was 70.2 in 1989. Steve Young’s was 70.3 in 1994. Kaepernick needs to achieve those numbers.

And, yes, it’s fair to compare Kaepernick to Montana and Young. Remember, he’s not a baby anymore. At the beginning of last season, I asked Jim Harbaugh to compare Kaepernick to Montana and Young. He politely ducked the question saying Kaepernick was inexperienced and still learning. That was a fair answer then. It isn’t now. Harbaugh and Kaepernick no longer can duck the comparison to Montana and Young. The comparison hangs over the team.

Let’s judge Kaepernick by other benchmarks like touchdown passes. He threw 21 last season. That ranked 17th in the league, strictly middle of the road. Kaepernick needs to do better.

He needs to be a better pocket passer. He needs to see the field better. He needs to get sacked less — he took the 11th most sacks in the league last season, unexpected in a running quarterback. He needs to play better in the red zone. He needs to make quicker decisions.

It may seem unfair to point out these “needs” so soon after his big day. He’s not a baby anymore. He’s a man. We judge him by man standards. We don’t worry about hurt feelings. And we praise him where praise is warranted. He finished last season No. 10 in passer rating at 91.6. Nice going.

We ask a serious question. How many read-option plays will Harbaugh call, plays that expose his quarterback to danger? It’s one thing to have a $1 million quarterback running all over the place with linebackers trying to murder him. It’s quite another to put a $21 million man in harm’s way. Will the Niners’ offense change?

We raise other grownup issues. Kaepernick appeared alone at his news conference announcing the contract, stood behind a lectern and answered questions from the media. He handled himself well and was able to answer all the questions. He answered in a good spirit and with a lovely smile.

But this was an important news conference, an epoch-making news conference. It declared Kaepernick is the future of the franchise. It declared Kaerpernick is not only a man — he is The Man.

Jed York should have been there. He should have acknowledged the seriousness of the contract, of the statement by the franchise. He should have vouched for his guy. He should have been there to praise Kaerpernick and explain why the team feels this deal is appropriate. He should have stood next to Kaepernick in joy.

Trent Baalke and Harbaugh also were no-shows. Very strange. This was a day for and about the franchise, but the franchise didn’t treat it like that. The 49ers barely gave the media time to show up. They announced the news conference an hour in advance. I drove like mad from Oakland and just made it in time. Several beat writers didn’t even cover the news conference. I assume a few didn’t get enough notice.

It’s like the Niners wanted to get as little press coverage as possible for this momentous occasion, wanted to slip this thing past the media. Why? If York and the others are proud of what they did, they should act proud. They should act grown up.

Kaepernick has ascended to the Montana-Young level in terms of his importance to the team.

He no longer is that aw-shucks, gosh-oh-gee kid with a boyish grin and minimalist language who wears his baseball cap backward like a kid. Well, he shouldn’t be. He is getting paid like a grown man to be a grown man and to do grown-man things.

But really this column isn’t about Kaepernick. It’s about us. We need to stop thinking of him as a young quarterback who still needs to develop. That’s over with. He needs to deliver. We need to change how we talk about Colin Kaepernick.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.


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  1. Michael S.

    Agreed, Lowell- but if you look at the contract details, it’s actually very favorable for the Niners. Paraag and Trent aren’t neophytes.

    June 4th, 2014 9:59 pm

  2. Mark M

    Fair enough. He’s been great already but he must improve and help the team win now.

    I’m glad you asked the inevitable question “Will the Niners’ offense change?” That is the biggest question for me. It should. The conservative nature of the play calling has been frustrating. Now we have a bright young talented QB that the franchise has fully endorsed today, plus a nice group of proven receivers. The passing game must grow and the running game needs to get a nice boost from these young guys. I’m looking for big improvements, not only in talent, but in a more aggressive scheme!

    June 4th, 2014 10:34 pm

  3. Russell

    This is well stated Lowell. I feel like the people that are blind loyalists will rise up and defend with vigor, such as on your last posting. This at least offers a better view to judge from. It’s time to put the big boy pants on and lead the team – Kaep has been very close, can he take the final step? Seems like a pretty rich investment on a hope, especially when it is obvious to the non-blinded that the defense drives this team, and whenever they have faltered the offense had fallen just shy of next level. Good luck faithful, it says here that if bowman, smith and smith can’t be the forces they once were then you have one heck of an overpriced bicep kisser for years to come.

    June 4th, 2014 10:43 pm

  4. htwaits

    Looks like those fools running the 49ers really gave away their future when they signed Kaepernick to a ridiculous contract. They must be a bunch of amateurs.


    June 5th, 2014 12:06 am

  5. Kathryn

    So glad to see that much of this contract is “fluff” and not really guaranteed. I had a hard time accepting that the 49ers were that all in on him. Can understand why the “brass” ditched the press conference. Let’s see who will answer the tough questions in the morning.

    June 5th, 2014 12:10 am

  6. NinerMadman

    So now that the details of the contract have come out and we realize that this is a team friendly contract, are you going to give the Niners or Kaep any credit for doing this right? Kaep will get paid if he performs and the team has flexibility to get players signed around him to help win championships. To the Niners, it’s all in a day’s work. No need for all the pomp and circumstance.

    June 5th, 2014 6:21 am

  7. Dennis

    Kaepernick doesn’t need to do any of the above. This was a business transaction. The 49ers wanted him long term as their other options at the QB position are severely limited and this was the cheapest, cap room friendly, market rate price they were going to be able to pay to keep him. End of story.

    Forget about all the comparisons. Gum used to be 5 cents pack and a cup of coffee cost a dime. Those days are gone. This is what a consistent play off contending starting quarterback cost in today’s NFL. Deal with it. The 49ers did.

    June 5th, 2014 7:49 am

  8. Mike Hatz

    @ Russell

    “Seems like a pretty rich investment on a hope…”

    To which I ask you: What other options do they have? What options would have been better than extending Colin Kaepernick?

    I am no blind Kaepernick loyalist, as you called certain fans. There are times when I wish that they hadn’t continued to start Kaepernick when Smith got healthy, and that they had let Alex lead the team to the Super Bowl. At the same time, however, Alex Smith doesn’t beat the Falcons in 2012′s NFC Championship game. Alex Smith doesn’t beat the Packers in 2013′s Wild Card round. Alex Smith doesn’t give the 49ers a fighting chance to win the Super Bowl against the Ravens. Alex Smith doesn’t nearly topple the Seahawks in Seattle in 2013′s NFC Championship Game.

    The free agent quarterbacks that are out there are below replacement level when compared to Colin Kaepernick. The quarterbacks that are coming out in the draft are children when compared to Kaepernick at this point, given the development that he has shown over the past couple of years. The quarterbacks that are currently on the 49ers roster are well below replacement level, as well. When Blaine Gabbert is your #2 option, that’s fine, as long as he stays the #2 option. If he becomes the starter because the 49ers refused to pay Kaepernick what the market would bear for him, that’s when you know that this 49ers team is destined for another .500 season.

    Like it or not, Colin Kaepernick gives this team more wins and chances to win than he does losses. He is an elite-level talent that has to tweak only small aspects of his game to actually achieve elite-level production. I think he will get there. He has the work ethic and the right mentality, not to mention a great quarterbacks coach in Geep Chryst and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick doesn’t come across as the guy who is willing to rest on his achievements or his contract, he wants to be the guy who hoists the Lombardi trophy and can stand on his own merit in conversations about elite quarterbacks, and be compared to Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Manning, and Rivers.

    June 5th, 2014 8:18 am

  9. Steve the cat rescuer

    What gets lost in all this is it gives Harbaugh incredible negotiating power for his next contract. Would the Niners dare trust any other head coach with Kaepernick?

    June 5th, 2014 8:36 am

  10. Mighty joe

    Lowell, I’m awaiting your column about the details of this historic contract, the salary cap context for the signing, it’s impact on the teams roster, and it’s comparison to other franchise qb’s today.

    You are, after all, an experienced, professional sports writer and your readers hold you to a high standard.

    June 5th, 2014 10:21 am

  11. CohnZohn

    Mighty joe, Grant Cohn is currently writing that exact column for the PD website. Thanks for your interest.

    June 5th, 2014 10:23 am

  12. mike

    Where was front office representation for at least an introduction at the presser for CK? Since he now is considered as the face of the franchise, or at least the offense, one would think that a suit or JH wouild be present for at least some introductory comments. Wonder why not?

    June 5th, 2014 11:54 am

  13. Dave T

    Here is your list before the 2013 season of top paid QB’s:
    • Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay — $22 million (Signed in 2013: 5 years, $110 million, reportedly $40 million guaranteed)
    • Joe Flacco, Baltimore– $20.1 million (Signed in 2013: 6 years, $120.6 million, $29 million fully guaranteed, 2013)
    • Drew Brees, New Orleans — $20 million: (Signed in 2012: 5 years, $100 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
    • Peyton Manning, Denver — $19.2 million (Signed in 2012: 5 year, $96 million, $18 million fully guaranteed)
    • Tony Romo, Dallas – $18 million (Signed in 2013: 6 year, $108 million, $40 million fully guaranteed)
    • Eli Manning, New York Giants — $16.25 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $97.5 million, tom $35 million guaranteed)
    • Philip Rivers, San Diego — $15.5 million (Signed extension in 2009: 6 years, $93 million, $38.5 million guaranteed)
    • Matt Schaub, Houston – $15.4 million (Signed extension in 2012: 4 years, $62 million, $29.15 million fully guaranteed)
    • Mark Sanchez, New York Jets — $13.5 million (Signed extension in 2012: 3 years, $40.5 million, $20.5 fully guaranteed)
    • Sam Bradford, St. Louis – $13 million (Signed in 2010: 6 years, $78 million, $50 million fully guaranteed)
    • Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh – $12.75 million (Signed extension in 2008: 8 years, $102 million, $33.2 million fully guaranteed)
    • Matthew Stafford, Detroit – $12.25 million (Signed in 2009: 6 years, $73.5 million, $41.75 million fully guaranteed)
    • Tom Brady — $11.4 million (Signed extension in 2013: 5 years, $57 million, $33 million full guaranteed)
    So what you are saying now is that for Kaepernick, who would be in the top 3 here easily, that he is worth as much as Rodgers, Flacco, Brees and Manning, each of which has at least one Super Bowl win. Romo we can agree is overpaid, as is Rivers, Schaub (now with Raiders) and Sanchez (you fill in the blank here and Bradford. Don’t forget to throw in Cutler in that group as well. Interesting that the multiple Super Bowl winning QB’s in Eli Manning, Brady and Roethlisberger are all lesser paid. Now to be fair some are older deals, but Brady’s is from 2013. Looks like he really wants to win.
    So I say again, and I do not care how cap friendly you tell me his deal is, that is a lot of cheese to a QB that has less than 2 years starting experience and no Championships.

    June 5th, 2014 12:57 pm

  14. Kommon Senze

    You’re looking at the ‘fluff’ contract details, and not the fine print, Dave T. In real terms, the 49ers have only guaranteed his $12 million signing bonus and a few ancillary bonuses, and they could quite easily get out of this contract after three years into the extension with reasonable dead money ($2.45 million) having only paid 4 yrs, $56 million ($14 million per).

    The ‘incentives’ in his deal that push it from a $110 milion base deal to a $126 million max deal over the entire six years of the extension include things like being named to the Pro-Bowl and winning a Super Bowl, things that, I would imagine if he has accomplished, the overall number will look much better.

    Also note that a good chunk of the money is actually pro-rated into the last year of his rookie deal, so it’s really a 7 year deal, not a 6 year deal, so the APY goes down when you include this season ($15.7 million if he reaches none of his incentives; $18.1 million if he reaches all of them).

    The reality is, he’s in the Cutler, Flacco (Flacco’s APY, when including the pro-rated amount into the last year of his rookie deal goes down from the $20 million reported by ‘over the cap’), Romo, Stafford range. Roethlisberger, E. Manning, and Rivers all signed their deals before the newest CBA, which greatly increased revenue available to players, so it’s somehat unfair to compare their lower APY to Kaepernick’s (although, as noted, Kaepernick’s APY is in their range if he doesn’t meet his incentives).

    In the end, you have to think about the alternative. Outside of Carson Palmer and Alex Smith, two players who both took much lower salaries because they did not have a track record of recent success (but two players who are both in line for an extension, themselves), there isn’t a decent starting QB making less than $13 million a year (and the guy at $13 million is Sam Bradford, hardly a QB that’s proven) that isn’t on a rookie contract.

    Kaepernick, after the final details are looked over, got below market rate for a QB with a Super Bowl appearance and two straight NFC Championship appearances. Lowell points to his lower completion percentage as a sign that he hasn’t “grown up.” As ESPN’s QBR rating demonstrates, he makes up for that with what he can do with his feet and with other plays. His QBR (69.6) ranks third over the past two years behind only Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. I agree he has to become a better pocket passer, but I’m surprised he’s already been as effective as he has been coming out of a Pistol offense in college. It often takes 3 years for a rookie QB to fully learn a new system (especially when they come from a system that had not similarity), and Kaepernick is at that 3 year mark now. I agree he still has to prove he can do more, but is there reason to doubt he won’t improve?

    I don’t hear things about him being a dumb kid. 38 wonderlic scores are not achieved by kids who don’t grasp abstract concept and cannot quickly recognize patterns. I don’t hear things about him not being a hard worker. Quite the opposite in fact; he’s described as a classic first on the practice field last off it type of player.

    The fact that he hasn’t been the most loquacious towards reporters is certainly something that he could improve from a PR standpoint (and, from what I remember, he was much more that way early on — I recall him giving very detailed replies after his start in the Chicago game two season ago; that changed by the time the playoffs rolled around, though), but is that really reason not to pay him?

    I don’t fully buy into the antiquated notions of what a QB/face of the franchise owes the team and the fans. I don’t think Kaepernick is rude to his fans, in fact, he seems quite accommodating to fans. He’s just very much a millennial in his mindset, choosing social media and other avenues to get in touch.

    On the field, I think he’s a top-10 QB or thereabouts. I think his contract reflects that. If you don’t pay him and he leaves, what then? Just look at the teams that have been searching for consistent QB play and how they’ve faired recently. Oakland, horrible. Cleveland, horrible. Jacksonville, horrible. On and on..

    Bottom line, in today’s market, you can’t get away with using ambiguous things like “how he treats reporters” or cherry-picked stats like completion percentage to reduce a players contract. It’s a free market, and if you try to impose those types of restrictions, players will take their talents elsewhere, where a team in desperate need of talent will gladly pay. I understand where these notions come from, but I just think they aren’t based in fiscal reality. QB get paid. Period. If you want to take your chances with the Josh McCown’s and the Chad Henne’s of the world (like the Niners did when they were trying to get by with Shaun Hill and JT O’Sullivan back in the day), be prepared for rough seasons of inconsistent play.

    Does Kaepernick have to grow up? Of course. All players do after a couple seasons in the league. But to deny what he’s produced thus far or to ignore the financial realities of the QB position in today’s game doesn’t make for a compelling argument against his recent deal.

    June 5th, 2014 1:48 pm

  15. dharte

    I find it amazing that so many believe the 49ers really “won” a contract that has over 60 million in guarantees and 126 million in total dollars.

    Obviously they are hoping that Kaepernick develops into a Hall of Fame player, but he has not shown that level of talent. The 49ers made the Super Bowl and last year’s NFC Championship game because of their defense, and their running game. Kaepernick, especially last year, was nowhere near “elite” among NFL starters.

    Ask yourself this question: would Indy trade Andrew Luck for Kaepernick? Or do you think Seattle would trade Russell Wilson for him, straight up? How about Green Bay, with the “older” Aaron Rodgers–would they trade for Kaepernick’s potential? Cam Newton is perhaps the most interesting comparison, and I think it’s possible the Panthers might make that trade because Newton’s personality seems to rub some veterans the wrong way.

    This contract is, as Lowell argues, for performance, not potential. The pressure is now enormous, and that pressure is on everyone: Harbaugh, Baalke, even Roman.

    If Kaepernick has another brain lock in a big game, it will be a problem in large part because of the money. Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and obviously Russell Wilson were all Super Bowl champions at Kaepernick’s age, and few of them had a defense or a running game as good.

    That’s pressure. No excuses.

    June 5th, 2014 2:20 pm

  16. Dr Feelgood

    Couldn’t agree more on the two main points.
    1. The contract bestows Kap franchise level money, and with it, franchise level responsibility. If the team fails, it had better not be due to the same Kaepernick shortcomings.
    2. How very strange. On such a momentous occasion, management does not organize a major press conference, does not even show up. What’s going on here?

    June 5th, 2014 3:49 pm

  17. chris

    seems the only needs to be addressed is that Jed York and his dad “need” their head examined…..this sounds like a Jamarcus Russell type contract…..and as Mike Tyson would say, most likely after getting all that cash, there will be no Super Bowl wins and Kaperpik will “fade into Bolivion”……lol.

    June 5th, 2014 4:09 pm

  18. Kommon Senze


    Ask yourself this question:

    How much do you think Andrew Luck will sign for when he’s eligible for an extension? How about Russell Wilson next year? Or Cam Newton?

    Do you believe they will sign for less than $18.1 million a year (the amount that Kaepernick’s total value works out to over the next 7 years)? If you do, you’re fooling yourself.

    And Kaepernick’s deal has de-escalators in it that reduce his yearly salary by $2 million if he fails to make the pro-bowl or lead the team to the Super Bowl and take 80% of the team snaps (i.e., if he gets injured and misses several games, his salary gets automatically reduced). Perhaps other QBs will put those in as well, but I found that rather unique. Certainly, it’s a ‘performance’ based aspect to his contract that changes where his overall deal fits into the hierarchy of salaries.

    And, the most important part, is that if he hasn’t produced another Super Bowl appearance or been good enough to make it to the Pro Bowl by 2017, the 49ers can waive him and take a relatively light cap hit of $2.45 million, and they will have paid him $56 million through that year (or $14 million per season). Considering the market and the cap against which his contract was signed, that’s really a relative bargain. Not an Alex Smith bargain, but a bargain comparably speaking (and Smith, as I said before, is due a contract extension of his own).

    The arguments that he’s over-paid, imo, simply are not based in the reality of the contract details. When you look closely at what the contract says, it’s a pretty good mix of awarding Kaepernick for doing something that few QBs have ever done (reaching the conference championships twice in a row in the first couple seasons as a starter), betting on his upside, while tempering that with a structure that keeps the deal reasonable.

    If he does reach the high expectations placed on him by 2017, then the final three years of his deal, by that time, might seem like a relative bargain compared to where contracts appear to be headed. The 49ers got his contract done before the other young gun QBs got theirs, and in a market of ever escalating revenue, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    June 5th, 2014 4:33 pm

  19. htwaits

    According to one method of evaluating quarterback contracts, Kaepernick stands in 12th place for his first three years.


    June 5th, 2014 7:34 pm

  20. dharte


    It is a very interesting question.

    Still, I’d bet real money that Russell Wilson does take less to surround himself with more talent (just as Tom Brady has done–twice–in stark contrast to Peyton Manning).

    Andrew Luck may well do the same.

    Both of these QBs put the team before themselves, and while Kaepernick appears to be liked by his teammates and clearly is a hard worker, there is more than a little show pony in the kid. Or do you think that Wilson and Luck might just break out a bicep kiss this season for every touchdown?

    We’ll see. But if Wilson does take less, and the Seahawks manage to keep more of their talent as a result, Kaepernick better win.

    (That contract, by the way, is much higher than the 18.1 million you’ve stated. Try 21 million a year.)

    June 6th, 2014 12:04 am

  21. Dennis


    I am missing your point. You are speculating what other QB’s might do, but what does speculation have to do with what Kaepernick actually did.

    And your math is not very good. This is an extension of 6 years to the one year remaining on his rookie contract. When you add it all together, including all the incentives and bonuses it, it is 126 mil over 7 years, not 6. And if he doesn’t make the incentives and bonuses he gets a lot less on a yearly basis. And if he does make the incentives and bonuses and does receive the full 126 mil he would under paid in today’s NFL.

    June 6th, 2014 9:20 am

  22. Mighty joe

    Dharte, I don’t think you understand the conditions in this contract. The 60 million guaranteed is an illusion. The team can cut Colin before April 1st every year. Only 13 million is fully guaranteed. In order for Colin to achieve the max pay out he has to play at an elite level or the team has to win the NFC. He also loses money every time he misses a game.

    This contract only pays Colin like an elite qb if he plays like an elite qb. Furthermore he can’t get out of it early if he out performs his compensation. Even assuming he does hit his max pay outs this contract will not appreciate with the cap. In a few years the cap is expected to hit 150 M and we can only guess where it will be by 2020. Max qb contracts have only inflated yet this contract doesn’t reflect that in it’s later years like other back ended deals (see Joe Flacco).

    June 6th, 2014 9:57 am

  23. Kommon Senze


    It’s $21 million a year only if you divide the money across the years of the extension. As I explained in detail, though (and as Dennis reiterated), the money is spread out over 7 years, not six. He’s getting a portion of his signing bonus pro-rated into this year.

    Also, as I explained, there are de-escalators in the deal that reduce his yearly salary during the six years of the extension by $2 million if he fails to take 80% of the snaps and either make the Pro-bowl or make it to the Super Bowl. If he’s making the Pro-Bowl or Super Bowl, I think he’s got to be doing something right, but if he doesn’t.. it reduces his salary.

    Then, you have to consider that the only salary you need to worry about are in the years that the 49ers cannot realistically cut him for poor performance due to the cap hit. The way his deal is structured, his pro-rated bonus goes through the 4th year of his extension; the final two years of his deal have no dead money in them. With his pro-rated bonus being $2.45 million in cap hit per year, realistically, if he’s underperforming or failing to develop, they can cut ties with him in 2017.

    At that point, assuming he has failed to get the 49ers to the Super Bowl or make the Pro-Bowl, he will have earned $56 million in 4 years. That’s $14 million per year.

    What this means is, the 49ers have structured this deal to award Kaepernick now for what he’s accomplished in his first two seasons, but at the same time protecting themselves against the potential that he does not fulfill the promise of his first two seasons. Outside of Lowell and a few others, the vast majority of analysts are saying that this is a very 49er friendly deal.

    If your standard of what he should be paid is “does he compare to Steve Young or Joe Montana in their prime?” then, naturally, he’s going to fall short thus far. While I understand why that notion has been proposed, it’s simply unrealistic and shows no understanding of how the business of the NFL works today.

    I look at the teams that have struggled to find a good QB (some with solid teams outside of the QB position) and I understand why it’s important to hold onto good ones when they come along. Kaepernick is a good QB, and a potentially great one. Arizona went from a poor team to a team on the cusp of the playoffs this past year simply by improving their QB play. Indianapolis went from worst team in the league to playoff team with Andrew Luck, who has completed only 57% of his passes through his first two years and has a worse traditional QB rating than Kaepernick (and has thrown several more INT) to boot.

    June 6th, 2014 1:10 pm

  24. dharte

    Mighty Joe

    You overstate the 49ers “flexibility” here: if they want to cut him, sure, then it’s a “team friendly” contract, but of course if that scenario actually happens the team is screwed for years.

    Here’s an nteresting, and fairly depressing article & break down about the new boy king:


    The problem for the 49ers is that Kaepernick just doesn’t seem mentality quick enough to master the nuances of the position, and that lack of awareness is a major flaw. We saw his lack of field awareness in the Super Bowl and in Seattle last January.

    June 6th, 2014 2:44 pm

  25. Dr Feelgood

    The details of the contract are now public, and our initial reactions seem, well, reactionary.
    What is your take of the extension, now that the facts are out?

    June 6th, 2014 3:03 pm

  26. CohnZohn

    Dr Feelgood, I like the extention for lots of reasons. The Niners held firm, made a sane contract to their advantage. Kaepernick had the courage to bet on himself and he did not try to sink the team financially.

    June 6th, 2014 4:40 pm

  27. Dr Feelgood

    Yes, and a surprisingly refreshing action by the player. This team-centric approach elevates Kaepernick’s esteem. I
    We have Kap’s leadership in the past. His contract terms speak volumes about his desire for the team to succeed, saying that if WE are successful, THEN I’ll be successful.
    It sends a powerful message to his teammates, some of which are concurrently in contract disputes with management. In a bit of a twist, this puts V Davis in a delicate position.

    June 6th, 2014 7:29 pm

  28. Russell

    Mike – fair enough. My bigger point is that Kaep doesn’t make the real difference, the D does. The Niners go 11-3 with Matt McGloin but the Raiders still go 4-12 with Kaep, no? It’s defense and the occasional big play, and while he has made them at times, Colin has also failed. He is upper 3rd on NFL QBs, but I still say he’s a risk at that number and what I think his true impact is.

    June 6th, 2014 8:57 pm

  29. dharte


    I’m interested that you think the 49ers “held firm” in this negotiation.

    Kaepernick still cannot read defenses effectively, and his ability to think quickly under pressure is limited, at best.

    The 49ers success these last three years is, frankly, the result of a great defense and a great running game.

    Now they’ve made their bet. But 20+ million a year is a huge gamble on a kid who has choked twice in consecutive seasons within a play or two of a championship.

    June 7th, 2014 10:23 am

  30. dharte

    @ Dennis @ Kommon

    For me, a large part of the problem with the numbers game is that no one seems to know what Kaepernick’s contract calls for…CSNBayArea reported it as 126 million two days ago, but now they’ve reduced that number to 115 million; the first reports had the guaranteed money at 62 million, though I’ve read that the figure might be 45 in realistic escalators.

    What is undeniable is the the 49ers did not make Kaepernick prove he can win a big game–not the defense, but Kaepernick as the leader of a game winning drive, etc.–before paying him like a QB who can do exactly that.

    And please, just stop all this nonsense about Kaepernick being young and inexperienced. He’s not. He started four years in college, and this will be his fourth year, three as a starter, of NFL ball. Montana, Aikman, Brady, and of course Russell Wilson all won titles with less experience.

    Time to win. And the 49ers also have no excuses if he doesn’t, because this season is the last where Kaepernick’s contract will not limited their options for fielding a strong team without contract issues. That sort of cutting starts next year, and Mike Iupati or Alex Boone will be the first to leave as a result of this contract.

    June 7th, 2014 12:11 pm

  31. htwaits


    You don’t seem to be able to count. The only way Colin gets 20+ million a year is if he is able to do the things you say he can’t do going forward. And, even if he does do them he still has to get to the Superbowl or be in the top two All Pro quarterbacks in a give season.


    The 49ers held tough for a whole day! Amazing. It sounds to me like they had an agreement between the parties before they gathered together for a face to face. I see that as Kaepernick stating his objectives and the 49ers saying immediately, “We can do that!”

    If there were issues to be debated, I don’t recall anyone pointing them out publicly.

    Now lets hope that Colin can have his Steve Young Ah Ha moment ASP.

    It’s going to be fun this year.

    June 7th, 2014 2:37 pm

  32. htwaits


    This link will show you what Kaepernick’s contract is worth the first three years.


    To get the additional two million in 2015 and 2016 he has to be All Pro (not Pro Bowl) or go to the Super Bowl. There are only two All Pro quarterbacks each year — first and second string.

    As long as Kaepernick does not suffer a carrier ending injury, nothing is guaranteed after 2014. He can be cut before February 1 with almost no cost to the 49ers.

    The reason Lowell likes the contract is that it is entirely performance based and the 49ers can change directions any time they see a better option.

    Your feelings about Colin seem to cloud your ability to absorb new information.

    June 7th, 2014 2:52 pm

  33. htwaits


    He can be cut before February 1 each season …

    June 7th, 2014 2:55 pm

  34. Dennis


    I have no idea what you are talking about. If Kaep plays like Alex Smith he gets paid like him. If he plays like Arron Rodgers he gets paid like him. What could possibly be more fair than that?

    If you don’t like Kaep you better find a new team because he is going to be here awhile.

    June 7th, 2014 6:21 pm

  35. htwaits

    “… this will be his fourth year, three as a starter, …”


    Of course you mean that Kaepernick has one and a half years as an NFL starter. That’s a typo, right?

    June 7th, 2014 9:46 pm

  36. Johnc

    Harbaugh et al need to teach Kap how to read defenses. Harbaugh et al need to draw up plays that will work in crucial moments of big games. ( think Superbowl and Seattle play- calling fiascos).
    The Niners live on defense. Nothing has changed since Alex Smith was here.
    Everthing Kap does in spectacular fashion ( running and down field bombs) are usually the result of Kap improvising rather than following Roman and Harbaugh’s faulty script.

    June 7th, 2014 9:54 pm

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