Sometime last night there was a report that 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was on the trade block. The 49ers quickly refuted the report, but since I am getting a number of questions about it here is how a trade would work from a financial perspective.
Any trade involving Kaepernick would result in a $9,863,013 charge against the 49ers salary cap. Kaepernick’s current cap figure of $15,265,753 would vanish and the 49ers would realize a cap savings of $5,402,740. The 49ers would carry no charges for Kaepernick in 2016 if traded.
The team acquiring Kaepernick would need to have the space available to take on a salary cap charge of $12,800,000. Over the next three seasons his future cap charges would be $14,300,000, $16,900,000, and $17,400,000. Most of those salaries are guaranteed for injury and become fully guaranteed if he is on the roster on April 1 of each year, which is very late, so a team trading for him would have ample time to determine if they wanted to release him in the future.
In general those terms are very cheap for a starting QB. The team aquiring him would look at the contract likely as either a two year deal for $13.55 million a season or four year deal for $15.35 million, with the option to reduce if things go badly. That should make him very attractive and likely drive the price to a first round pick plus more. A few years ago the 49ers received two second round picks for Alex Smith and I believe the market would be stronger for Kaepernick who has far more tools to work with than Smith.
I had made a comment before all of this started that Kaepernick would be a good target for the Eagles down the line if things went poorly in San Francisco this season. I would imagine they would be a team interested now, but in many cases these rumors get started because a team like Philadelphia will pick up the phone and say “any interest in moving player X” and when the reply isn’t an immediate hang up rumors can get started.