The NFL’s offseason is in full swing, three teams are reportedly in the running for San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick—the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and Cleveland Browns—and yet Kaepernick is still with the 49ers—the team that benched him mid-way through the 2015 season.
So what’s the deal? Why hasn’t a deal been worked out yet?
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, there are extenuating circumstances regarding each of Kaepernick’s landing spots.
Colin Kaepernick was willing to play for the Browns, but that may have changed after the first wave of free agency: https://t.co/hplKooP4WS
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) March 13, 2016
The Browns have a head coach (Hue Jackson) who Kaepernick likes and Cleveland is apparently willing to give up its third-round pick (65th overall) to get the 28-year-old Kaepernick—which would seem to satisfy the 49ers’ trade requirements. But since the start of free agency the Browns have lost center Alex Mack, tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and wide receiver Travis Benjamin, making the perennially-losing team even less attractive.
Making things worse for the Browns is the fact that the team has the second-overall pick in the draft and may be leaning towards taking a quarterback with the high pick.
Of course any deal involving Kaepernick would require the fifth-year quarterback to restructure his contract giving him veto power to choose his destination.
— NFL (@NFL) March 13, 2016
The Broncos were able to win a Super Bowl last year despite the failings of Peyton Manning, who had clearly lost some zip on his passes and was no longer the guy who could carry a team. Denver has lost a couple of key contributors but still has most of the critical pieces to the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
They also have John Elway running the show, who has proven to be a masterful general manager. But Elway’s reported offer—their third-round pick, 94th overall—is 29 spots lower than Cleveland’s and it doesn’t seem that Elway is going to budge.
New York Jets
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 10, 2016
The Jets don’t seem to have as much interest in Kaepernick and may only be in the running with San Francisco’s quarterback to try and lower free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick’s asking price. The salary-cap-strapped Jets and Fitzpatrick proved to be the perfect fit last season but are far apart in negotiations this offseason. Denver has shown interest but also seem to be of the opinion that the asking price is too high for the 33-year-old quarterback.