Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco is in Orlando, Florida for the NFL owners meetings; check back for all his coverage and watch SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the day’s football news
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The 49ers appear prepared to make Colin Kaepernick one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.
And it could happen this offseason.
On Tuesday, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke told Bay Area reporters at the NFL owners meetings that the team’s goal is to work out a contract extension with Kaepernick before the start of training camp.
A short time later, 49ers CEO Jed York said the organization expects to go to great lengths to get the deal done.
“I think there’s a lot that he’s done that has put him in that position where he should be paid like one of the top quarterbacks in the league," York said. "And I think that’s where we’ll end up -- whether we get it done now or later. We hope we get it done soon. If we don’t, I don’t think it’s going to be acrimonious.”
Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Drew Brees each makes $20 million or more per season. Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford also earn at least $17.666 million annually.
“When I look at Colin, I like what he’s done,” York said. “I like the growth that he’s shown. I like the maturity that he’s showing. I think he’s becoming much more of a leader.
“When you look at the last three games we played, we don’t beat Green Bay without Colin. I don’t think we beat Carolina without Colin. And I think he played really well for a lot of the game in Seattle. And he drove us down and was a few inches away from taking us to the Super Bowl.”
Kaepernick, entering the final year of his original four-year contract, is scheduled to earn $1.073 million in salary and bonuses. The 49ers and Kaepernick’s agent, Scott Smith, opened preliminary contract talks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.