Yet, San Francisco’s final decision doesn’t stop there. Receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati are also entering the final year of their contracts.
With Kaepernick, Smith, Crabtree and Iupati all free agents after 2014, the 49ers must figure out a plan. They will only be able to give the franchise tag to one player, so they will have to figure out deals for the other three. There is a realistic chance the 49ers will not be able to sign all of these players.
Kaepernick is certainly the biggest priority. If the 49ers feel like they can trust Smith to stay out of trouble off the field, he also is paramount.
Yet, Crabtree and Iupati are no slouches, either. The 49ers don’t have to do anything now. Still, this is a situation that is looming for the 49ers that must be addressed in the future.