John Lynch: We Would’ve Cut Colin Kaepernick If He Didn’t Voluntarily Opt Out
by: Darrelle Lincoln On Thursday, June 1, 2017
Well, this pretty much answers the question for those who wondered why Colin Kaepernick would opt out of his contract after the controversy he started last season.
Back in October, the two sides had agreed to restructure his contract before making him the starter for the remainder of the season. In return for giving Kaepernick the ability to opt out of his contract, he agreed to void the final four years of his current deal.
If Kaepernick chose not to opt out, his contract terms for 2017 would remain the same and include a $14.5 million salary, but no guaranteed money. If he chose that route, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch revealed they would’ve cut him anyway.
Lynch and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan met with Kaepernick, both believing his particular talent would not be a fit within the new offense, the general manager revealed on Wednesday to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Yes, and we had that conversation with him. So I don’t want to characterize it as he made a decision to leave here. We both sat down and under that current construct of his deal, it was a big number. (Coach) Kyle (Shanahan) had a vision for what he wanted to do, and one thing I think Kyle was very clear and I think Colin appreciated, is that Kyle has an idea of how he’d play with Colin Kaepernick. But he preferred to run the exact offense that he ran in Atlanta last year that was record-breaking in this league. And if you change it for the quarterback, you change it for everybody on that offense. So he had a great discussion that I think gave Colin clarity, so we moved on.
Lynch also revealed he apologized to Kaepernick for unintentionally stating the QB did not want to play football any longer.
I want to put that to rest. I’m sorry that this came out of this building. That’s one of the challenges that I’m finding is controlling the message that comes out of your building. There’s so many people, and it’s hard to find because, ‘Sources this, sources that.’ I didn’t feel good about that and I’ve talked to Colin. That was what was most important to me, to talk to Colin directly and let him know that I was sorry that that did (come out) and that nothing else like that will come out of this building if I have anything to do with it. That’s where that is. We wish Colin the best and I can tell everybody out there he very much is sincere in his interest to get back in this league, and I hope it works out for him.
After protesting against racial inequality and police brutality, Kaepernick still remains a free agent well into the summer.