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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick officially requested a trade on Feb. 27, 2016, expressing he wants to move on and continue his career on a different team. His agents asked for trade permission from the 49ers, as officials gathered at the NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 23 through Feb. 29. Kaepernick attended the University of Nevada and was drafted by the 49ers in the 2011 NFL draft. He was drafted in the second round and was picked 36th overall, to be Alex Smith’s backup quarterback for the 2011 season.
In 2012, his career started to climb. When Smith suffered an injury, Kaepernick filled in and was officially announced as the full-time starter. Through the NFL playoffs, he was able to make plays and win games. The 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons and won the NFC Championship with a score of 28-24. Even though Kaepernick led the Niners to the Super Bowl, they came up short against the Baltimore Ravens. This was the first time San Francisco competed in a Super Bowl, in 1994.
In the middle of the 2015 season, the quarterback was benched, due to his 2-6 start, as the starting quarterback. The 49ers played their backup, Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert started for the rest of the season and this may have caused tension between Kaepernick and his relationship with the team as well as the coaching staff. The 49ers were rumored to have been seeking players for all positions at the combine, including quarterbacks. It was also rumored that recruiting officials with the 49ers have shown interest in the current backup quarterback for the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III.
Kaepernick’s performance was not the only factor that caused him to be benched last season. On Nov. 21, 2015, the 49ers announced that due to an injury, he could not play for the rest of the season. He suffered from an injury to his left shoulder and was required to have surgery. This surgery and previous surgeries to his left knee and right thumb caused the quarterback to be on injured reserve. All of his surgeries were performed by his private surgeons versus getting treatment by the team’s medical staff.
On Feb. 24, 2016, 49ers general manager, Trent Baalke stated that he wanted to keep Kaepernick for next year’s roster. However, this did not stop Kaepernick and his agents from requesting a trade. Griffin has expressed that he wants to be considered for the starting quarterback since he has been Washington’s backup for two straight seasons. It seems that he and Kaepernick have that same goal.
Despite this, new head coach, Chip Kelly has not shown any concerns about Kaepernick wanting to leave the 49ers. He has stated that in previous conversations with the quarterback that “he never sensed that [he] was unhappy,” according to the Sacramento Bee. Kelly stated, he is excited to see him play on April 4, which is when the Niners’ will begin their offseason training program, should he decide to stay.
Kaepernick has been guaranteed a base salary of $11.9 million for the 2016 season that will be effective on April 1, 2016. Three days after this would be the beginning of the 49ers’ official offseason training program. Kaepernick, who wants to leave the 49ers, may not make it to this training program. To the quarterback, this decision to request for a trade is anything but abject, but it could be a new start to his career.
Opinion by Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Leigh Haugh
EPSN: Sources: Colin Kaepernick’s agents request trade from 49ers
The Sacramento Bee: Chip Kelly on Kaepernick: ‘Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent’
SB Nation: Colin Kaepernick’s agents requested permission to seek trade from 49ers, per report
Image Courtesy of Brook Ward’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License