49ers GM: Colin Kaepernick Staying, Will Battle Blaine Gabbert For QB Job

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The San Francisco 49ers say they’re going to have a quarterback competition and Colin Kaepernick will be involved. That decision won’t be cheap, either.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke told reporters Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team “absolutely” plans on keeping Kaepernick. The plan is to have him battle Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback job.

In keeping Kaepernick, the 49ers will have to pay him a $11.9 million base salary when his contract becomes guaranteed April 1.

“I think the good thing is we’ve got two guys that have gone into games who’ve proven they can play,” Baalke told reporters, per ESPN.com. “And Colin’s done some awful good things through his career, won some big games for the San Francisco 49ers and (we) expect him to come back.”

This decision should make for one of the NFL’s most intriguing training camp storylines. The QB battle will play out under the watchful eye of new Niners head coach Chip Kelly, who was hired after being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kaepernick’s health also is a concern for San Francisco. He recently underwent surgeries on his non-throwing shoulder, the thumb on his throwing hand and his left knee. Even when healthy, the 28-year-old struggled mightily in 2015, completing just 59 percent of his passes with just six touchdown passes and five interception in nine games.

Kaepernick had been the subject of trade rumors already this offseason. The New York Daily News reported earlier this month the QB wanted out of San Francisco and that the Jets could have interest in the signal-caller. For now, however, it appears Kapernick is staying put.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

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