Colin Kaepernick was on his way out of San Francisco, one way or another.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers after the 2016 season, thus becoming a free agent. But had Kaepernick not opted out, the team was in line to release him, as new 49ers general manager John Lynch told “Pro Football Talk Live” on Wednesday.
“We had that conversation with him,” Lynch told “PFT Live.” “So I don’t want to characterize it as he made a decision to leave here. We both sat down and under that current construct of his deal, it was a big number.
“Kyle (Shanahan) had a vision for what he wanted to do, and one thing I think Kyle was very clear and I think Colin appreciated, is that Kyle has an idea of how he’d play with Colin Kaepernick. But he preferred to run the exact offense that he ran in Atlanta last year that was record-breaking in this league. And if you change it for the quarterback, you change it for everybody on that offense. So he had a great discussion that I think gave Colin clarity, so we moved on.”
Following Kaepernick’s departure from San Francisco, reports circulated that the 49ers spread negative information about the veteran QB, thus turning away potential free-agent suitors. Lynch vehemently denied these rumors, but understands the type of effect chatter can have around the league.
“That was what was most important to me, to talk to Colin directly and let him know that I was sorry that that did (come out) and that nothing else like that will come out of this building if I have anything to do with it,” Lynch said. “That’s where that is. We wish Colin the best and I can tell everybody out there he very much is sincere in his interest to get back in this league, and I hope it works out for him.”
And while Kaepernick might have interest in getting back into the NFL, it appears the interest isn’t matched by any of the 32 teams. The 29-year-old only has held one free-agent visit with the Seahawks, but left Seattle unsigned.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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