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Chip Kelly: I deal with Colin Kaepernick as a 'football player'

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Kaepernick warming to idea of staying with 49ers? (0:44)

Despite interest in playing for other teams, John Clayton explains why Colin Kaepernick could remain with the 49ers. (0:44)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- While trade winds have Colin Kaepernick shipping out from Santa Clara to Denver, Cleveland and the New York Jets, depending upon the hour, they seem to have calmed. And new San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly attempted to quell the zephyrs on Thursday.

The secretive Kelly, who has not spoken publicly since his introductory media conference on Jan. 20 (he did meet with a select group of 49ers beat writers at the combine last month), said at Stanford’s pro day he’d “love” to have the quarterback at his disposal.

“I’m a big Kap fan,” Kelly told reporters, according to CSNBayArea.com.

“I deal with him as a football player, and he’s been great.”

Indeed, at the combine, Kelly said much the same, a day after general manager Trent Baalke said he “absolutely” expected Kaepernick to be on the Niners’ roster on April 1, when $11.9 million of his salary becomes guaranteed.

Kelly, who said at his January presser that he could not talk football with Kaepernick until the start of the team’s offseason activities on April 4, then told the beat writers he did not believe “Internet” reports that Kaepernick wanted out.

Alas, a few hours later, Kaepernick’s agents -- XAM Sports -- told the 49ers they wanted permission to seek a trade.

The 49ers have stayed silent since until Kelly spoke at Stanford on Thursday.

“I never got that from Colin,” Kelly said of the quarterback's desire for a trade. “That was his agents talking to Trent ... I’ve never been privy to any of that stuff.

“I talked to Kap two days ago. We had a good conversation. That’s the business side of this game. And whatever that is, that is. If he’s here on [April 4], we’ll be ready to go.”

Kaepernick, who was benched midway through last season in favor of Blaine Gabbert, underwent surgeries to his left knee, right thumb and left shoulder in Vail, Colorado, rather than by team doctors.

“He said he feels like he’s on track. He’s getting healthy and he’s excited. And that’s the biggest thing for him, just getting healthy.”

Figuring out for whom he’s going to play next season would seemingly be significant, too.

Kelly said he told Kaepernick, “If you’re here, we’re going to coach the heck out of you.

“And he was excited about that.”