When Chip Kelly was the coach of the Eagles, the one thing many thought he was lacking was a mobile quarterback. Michael Vick was the closest thing Chip ever had to a mobile quarterback, with Mark Sanchez in a distant second place. Landing with the San Francisco 49ers after being fired from the Eagles, many also thought Chip’s offense in the NFL would finally show itself to be the strength it had been hyped up to be.
As it turns out, Chip might not even have his mobile quarterback this time around, either. Where can he turn? Where will he turn? Can he turn anywhere at this point?
Per a report from the New York Daily News, Colin Kaepernick wants out from the 49ers and wants to go to the Jets. Should this happen, Chip Kelly would be left with Blaine Gabbert, pretty much assuring the 49ers would have to sign another first string quarterback, just in case. It almost seems like a lose-lose for Chip. Here’s what the report from the NYDN says:
The Daily News has learned that embattled 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco after a forgettable 2015 that included on-field struggles that resulted in a benching midway through the season and a coaching change after it. The Jets are his preferred destination, according to sources.
The Jets, aware of Kaepernick’s desire to play for them, are intrigued, but in the early stages of their offseason planning and evaluation, according to sources. They’re also deathly afraid of any perception of tampering (see: Darrelle Revis situation, circa 2015).
New San Francisco head coach Chip Kelly didn’t exactly give Kaepernick a ringing endorsement last month after the dual-threat quarterback went 2-6 as a starter under train-wreck Jim Tomsula in the first year of the post Jim Harbaugh era. Owner Jed York declared last week that there’s “no question” in his mind that Kaepernick can re-gain his job as the starter.
“I’ve always had a very, very high opinion of Kap,” York said. “Kap’s a great kid. He’s done a lot of great things for us. Again, this is a fresh start for everybody.”
Kelly’s read-option offense appears ideal for the athletic Kaepernick’s skill set, but the quarterback wants to take his talents elsewhere. Kaepernick, who had left shoulder surgery in November and right thumb and left knee surgeries last month, is rehabbing with his own trainers in Colorado rather than at the team facility, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Although Kaepernick wants to play for the Jets, he still has five years remaining on a blockbuster $114 million extension signed in 2014 that includes escape hatches for his current employer. The 49ers must make a decision to trade or cut Kaepernick before April 1 when his 2016 base salary of $11.9 million becomes guaranteed. San Francisco would save $8.5 million by releasing Kaepernick, who is scheduled to have a $15.9 million cap charge this season.
I kind of feel bad for Chip at this point. It seems like the guy just can’t win on or off the field.