<
>

Trent Baalke says Niners 'nowhere near' trading Colin Kaepernick

play
Despite reports of interest, Browns cool on Kaepernick (1:57)

ESPN NFL Nation reporters Pat McManamon and Paul Gutierrez talk about why the Browns are not that intrigued by Colin Kaepernick and where he may land. (1:57)

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- With the Colin Kaepernick trade winds seemingly calming, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke acknowledged Tuesday he has had "discussions with several teams" regarding the dual-threat quarterback.

"And it's gone no further than that," Baalke said at the NFL owners meetings. "We're nowhere near getting anything done at this point."

Baalke added that he has not fielded any offers from prospective suitors. Kaepernick has been linked to the Browns, Broncos and Jets, though Cleveland and Denver have distanced themselves recently.

Kaepernick became the Niners' starter midway through the 2012 season, a year after they drafted him in the second round out of Nevada. He was under center for the team's Super Bowl run in the 2012 season as well as the following year when they made their third straight trip to the NFC title game.

Last year, though, he was benched after eight games and a 2-6 start in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

Kaepernick underwent surgeries to his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee after being placed on injured reserve in November. At last month's NFL combine, his agents asked the Niners for permission to explore potential trades for the QB. The request came hours after Baalke said he "absolutely" expected Kaepernick to be on the team's roster April 1, when $11.9 million of his contract becomes guaranteed.

The request from Kaepernick's agents was granted.

"But our intent was for him to be back and to go to work ... the more important thing is what our expectations are of the player," Baalke said. "He's under contract and unless, or until that changes, our expectations don't change."

Then why give him permission to seek a trade?

"Because I think sometimes it helps players ... it gives them a chance to see what their options really are," Baalke said. "And it also gives us a chance to say, 'We didn't hold you back from doing anything. This is new for everybody.'

"Obviously, [new coach Chip] Kelly would love to work with him and feels he could fit into the system that coach has, and go to work. I think that's the main purpose of it."

Baalke was asked whether he was stunned by the request.

"You have to look at all the change that we've gone through, and sometimes that's difficult on players, especially young players," Baalke said. "Young players that got to go from system to system to system, right? So I never really asked them what their thought process is and why they're making the decisions that they are.

"But by giving them the opportunity to explore other options, doesn't mean that you don't want him."

Baalke was quick to point out that he would not grant such freedom to every player.

"This is a unique situation, and it's being dealt with," he said. "Let's face it: The last couple of years have not been an easy run for any of us."