So Colin Kaepernick is a rich 49er again ... until maybe the end of the month.
That’s the beauty of the 49ers, deadlines, and their various versions of the present and future, though. Their bluffs have been called even before they have spoken, and now they face an uncertain April to go along with their weird March, their disingenuous February and their arrhythmic January.
In other words, they came by their record last season on merit, and they are approaching the offseason the same way.
Kaepernick’s contract as a 49er has fully vested now, and he is officially that hilarious combination of W, T and F -- a disgruntled $11.9 million worker whom the 49ers need but aren’t sure they want.
Unless he’s who they want but not who they need. With this story, who can tell?
You see, the 49ers, who said they like him and want him . . . unless of course someone “bowls them over” with a trade offer . . . are still willing to be bowled over (much as they were during the season). And for that, their job is made more difficult because they have to find an agreeable price for him, and then have the team paying that price to find an agreeable price with Kaepernick.
Put in English, Kaepernick stands to make more money in the place his people say he wants to leave than any place he would rather be. The love or money conundrum wears Beats.
How the 49ers’ management team maneuvered itself into this little corner is hardly a surprise. Once the suits and golf shirts disengaged from the one thing they all agreed upon – getting rid of Jim Harbaugh – it is as if they lost any sense of direction at all. They know what they don’t like, which is the easy part, but they seem to have only a fleeting idea of what they do like.
That’s the simple way of saying they are operating in an entirely reactive mode, which is the best way to turn one 5-11 season into several.
The Kaepernick problem is particularly acute, though, because the 49ers literally don’t have any idea what they just agreed to, or what price to set if they don’t.
And it isn’t the money as much as it is the indecision that rankles. They have money, gobs of it. What they don’t have is certainty at the most important position, and if they do attain it in time, they will cheerfully spread the news that they actually do know what they’re doing through their usual national avenues.
This is all well and good except for the evidence that screams that they don’t. They kept Kaepernick because they couldn’t get what they wanted for him, and they wanted to be rid of him in part because he thinks they don’t believe in him. Now they say they do, unless they’re “bowled over,” which in factual means they do but only to an extent, which doesn’t make Kaepernick feel any more eager to continue his 49er-hood.
More than that, Kaepernick is coming off a season where there should be questions about him, so in a way, everyone is right to feel as they do.
But it still isn’t the way to operate a football team with aspirations to do anything other than finish fourth again. In other words, Colin Kaepernick is rich, and a 49er, right up to the moment that he isn’t.
Same as it ever was, to quote the bard. Same as it ever was.