In an Insider piece, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick looks at whether the San Francisco will and should extend the deal of quarterback Colin Kaepernick this offseason or wait until after his contract expires after 2014 season.
Riddick makes some interesting points. But by hearing the words of the 49ers’ brass this week at the NFL owners meetings, the decision has been made.
The 49ers want to secure Kaepernick as soon a possible. In fact, on Tuesday, San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said the team hopes to get a deal done for Kaepernick by the time training camp starts in late July.
It was significant because it was the first time the team put a timeline on the negotiations and it signified the team has seen enough -- they want him for the long term. Coach Jim Harbaugh and CEO Jed York echoed Baalke’s thoughts this week.
This is what Harbaugh said Wednesday morning, via ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco: “I think we all know what Colin’s earning potential is. We all pretty much know what the numbers are … We all look at it that way. He deserves that. That’s what he deserves. That’s what the market pays for that job. Nobody attacks it more than he does. Nobody wants to be great like he does.”
That means the 49ers are preparing to pay Kaepernick a long-term deal that will likely average, at least, $18 million a year. It is a load of money, but Kaepernick is going into this season set to make just above $1 million. The kid is 21-18 as a starter and he has been to two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl in less than two seasons as a starter.
Quarterbacks get paid. Kaepernick is an upper level quarterback and he deserves to be paid like it. It looks like it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.