Kap needs instruction, not negotiation, from his coach

Here is my Thursday column on Jim Harbaugh’s logic and Colin Kaepernick’s earning potential.

I had to laugh at some of the things Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday at the NFL’s owners meetings in Orlando.

Harbaugh said Colin Kaepernick is “one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL,” and he deserves the big bucks. “I think we all know what Colin’s earning potential is,” Harbaugh said.

First, I have to laugh again. Those statements kill me every time.

Second, let me point out that Kaepernick’s earning potential is not Harbaugh’s concern. He coaches the players. That’s his job. Make them better, Jim. Kaepernick’s earning potential is the concern of Trent Baalke, Paraag Marathe and Kaepernick’s agent.

Third, Harbaugh’s logic is flawed. A team should pay a player based on what he’s actually earned – his performance on the field – not based on the anticipation of what he may do.

The Packers gave Aaron Rodgers the big bucks after 93 starts, 179 touchdown passes, three Pro Bowl selections, four seasons in a row with a passer rating better than 100, an MVP award and a Super Bowl win.

Here are Kaepernick’s accomplishments in comparison: 29 starts, 38 touchdown passes, zero Pro Bowl selections, zero seasons with a passer rating better than 100, zero MVPs and zero Super Bowl wins. Not the resume of a top NFL QB, and not someone who deserves the big bucks yet.

Kaepernick may become better than Rodgers one day and, if that day comes, then Kaepernick will merit the big bucks. But that day is way down the line. And there is some concern about Kaepernick’s ability to fulfill his potential, especially under Harbaugh.

That’s the real issue.

Can Harbaugh get Kaepernick to play up to what Harbaugh thinks Kaepernick’s earning potential is?

Let me explain why there are doubts. I can describe five plays in just three playoff games that concern me.

In the NFC championship game in Seattle last season, Kaepernick threw an interception to the Seahawks’ strong safety, Kam Chancellor, in the crucial fourth quarter when Kaepernick fell apart. Kaepernick dropped back, looked left and fired a pass to Anquan Boldin. But Chancellor was standing right in front of Boldin. Somehow, Kaepernick never saw Chancellor.

That mistake virtually replicated one Kaepernick made just two weeks before against the Packers in the Wild Card playoff round. Kaepernick dropped back, looked left and fired a pass directly to a Packers’ defender, Mycah Hyde, who was standing in front of Boldin.

Hyde dropped the interception, but if he had made the catch, the Packers would have won and we all would agree that Kaepernick does not deserve to be paid as much as Rodgers.

The point is Kaepernick did not learn from the Hyde mistake, and made it again two weeks later in Seattle.

Kaepernick tends to throw blindly to his left. He almost never sees underneath coverage on that side of the field. On his second throw of his first playoff game – at Candlestick against the Packers two seasons ago – Kaepernick dropped back, looked left and threw an interception right to the Packers’ cornerback, Sam Shields.

Harbaugh should have drilled that bad habit out of Kaepernick long ago. But Harbaugh didn’t.

Two more plays are troubling about Kaepernick.

He lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl because he threw up a prayer to Michael Crabtree in the end zone on the last play of the game. Kaepernick should have called his last timeout and figured out with Harbaugh a good play to run.

Obviously, Kaepernick learned nothing from that because he failed under virtually the same circumstances the following season in the NFC championship game.

Thirty-seconds left, the 49ers were down six. Kaepernick threw up a prayer to Crabtree in the end zone instead of using a timeout – the Niners had two left. Richard Sherman tipped the ball to a linebacker, Malcolm Smith, and the 49ers lost.

No creativity. No chance. Back-to-back seasons ended on the exact same mistake. Harbaugh can’t let that happen.

There was one more thing Harbaugh said at the owners meetings that made me laugh. He said: “Nobody wants to be great like (Kaepernick) does. Nobody attacks it like he does.”

At best, effort is the minimum a player is expected to contribute.

The 49ers should not reward effort or potential or attacking. The 49ers should reward results.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. Grant u sound like a bitter old man, remember that Rodgers sat behind Favre for 4 years and was able to learn and did receive an extension after his first year as a starter, so the comparison is unfair and a little byass.

  2. This is the same type of column, your Dad did on Panda. Although you make perfect sense,like he did, there is no logic in sports contracts. He is going to get the big bucks whether you like it or not, he should make more money then Cutler and Romo and he will.

  3. He’s going to get paid market value and since guys who have accomplished less, Stafford, Cutler, Romo, got paid he will as well. The going rate for a franchise QB whether you think he is one or not.

  4. As an objective observer I have to say that Kaep had that same luxury watching a legend do his thing for 2 years before being unceremoniously shipped off to K.C. And look what he did for them.

    1. Legend??? Are you kidding me? I for one always supported Alex from the day he was drafted in ’05 and I have articles I’ve written over the years to support that. Once he was given a chance from a coach who believed in him and gave him an offense that focused on his talents he was good. But Legend? Not sure where that came from. lol

    2. A legendary bust you mean… What did he learn from Alex “1 playoff in a decade” Smith, how to never have a 1000 yard wr and only throw to rbs? A legend, stay off the drugs.

  5. You don’t pay for future results in the NFL, you pay for past performance and potential. The “what if” game is ridiculous. There are so many things that you can single out that would change the course of the game. This is just banging on the same “I don’t like Kaepernick” drum with a little “It seems to be getting a bit personal” diatribe thrown in.
    That being said, I do think that Harbaugh needs to do a little more whispering to Kaepernick. He also needs to work with Roman to diversify the offense.

          1. NinersNation is not a fanboy site. It’s a dedicated and knowledgeable site full of people who understand football – and the 49ers – a lot better than Grant does.

            1. And do everything they can to talk up their favorite team.

              Don’t get me wrong, they have some good content, but they also skew everything to the positive.

              1. I don’t necessarily agree. Of course it’s Niners-focused content; that’s the point. But the linked article didn’t even reach a conclusion, it just pointed out that there are some interesting advanced statistics to consider.

    1. Assuming he was able to participate at the combine or pro day, he’d be competing with Watkins for the #1 WR spot (but would probably go after Watkins).

      1. If the Crabtree of 2009 with foot issue and baggage was in this draft he would fall like he did then. But I would suggest he would fall further because this is a stronger class of receivers. Certainly would fall below 10 where the Niners got him.
        The Crabtree of today who has proven his NFL creds is a different story but that is apples and oranges in different crates in different markets.

  6. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” … Grant ..

    As I’ve mentioned before …
    you can make stats “prove” any argument you want ..

    You forgot to mention one “stat” ..

    Colin Kaepernick holds an NFL record which probably
    won’t be broken in our lifetime …

    QBs are a lot more than stats project !

  7. I understand that Kaep hasn’t performed up to the standard most of us have of top tier QBs and therefore doesn’t warrant the pay. I think some of us are failing to see the economics involved in paying Kaep. If they are going to pay Kaep, they should do it now. If they can get him at 18 million a year then do it. At 18 million a year will put Kaep between 6-10 highest paid QB but guess what, next year other QBs will most likely pass Kaep up in salary. Russell Wilson will be getting a new deal, so will Luck, Cam, and RGIII. Now depending on how these guys play, I am guessing all will ask for at least 18 million and will probably get it. If so they will bump Kaep out of the top ten in yearly salary, right in the range where all of us think he belongs. With the rising salary cap and the potential of wanting more next year I say pay the man. He is a franchise QB and that is what a franchise QB costs.

    1. Carolina has already announced they are taking their 5th year option on Newton meaning his salary will be the average of the top 10 paid QB’s.

      1. And do you know why Jack? It’s because the 5th year option will be cheaper than what his new contract will be. After year 5 how much do you think Newton will want. Probably 20 million +.

        1. That’s fine. I think it is the smarter option to hold off on the big $$ long term contract for a QB that hasn’t proven he’s worth it. Carolina is getting it right.

          1. Kaep being worth it is a different topic. My point was that if you pay him 18 million now that just after one year he could possibly be out of the top ten in paid QBs. Where would you expect Kaep to be paid compared to his counterparts? We would all agree that 10-15th would be about right. Pay him 18 mil now and after one year he is in that range. The bonus is that if he wins a SB or plays awesome the 49ers now have a bargain. If he is truly their franchise QB then 18millioin a year is now the going rate. If you don’t think he is the franchise QB then I guess you don’t want him to get the new contract.

            1. I simply haven’t got the energy to once again go through how they can give him a 5-year contract that averages around $22M per year next year vs a 5-year contract that pays around $18M per year this year and still have the cap figures work out to be less or the same in respective years…

          2. Yep. They don’t need to redo his contract yet, which they know will be a very large deal, so they aren’t. Smart business.

          3. Jack,
            I guess the full extent of your value is X and O’s. You wait too long before signing a player, then the negotiations get sticky. That player becomes bitter and the relationship is no longer rock solid.
            As for you Grant, what happened to the days where you actually wrote decent entertaining articles? You’ve gone to the well one too many times with your ” Kaepernick doesn’t deserve it” garbage. Ok we get it. You don’t think Kaep is that good.
            This is a Niner blog Grant. With Niner fans on it. Yet the only time you write positive football related articles is when you write about Tony Romo. Who in his last three years is 25 wins 23 losses. Way to have your priorities straight.

            1. And actually if you go back to the 2010 season in which Romo started 6 games, his record through 2010 is 26 wins and 28 losses. Heck, Alex Smith is better than Romo….

              1. No one’s asking for a homer blog. They’re asking for a basic understanding of the market value for NFL quarterbacks in 2014, as well as acknowledgment that Kap is an above-average QB who is improving, and has a high ceiling.

              2. Just because the Cowboys paid Romo and the Bears paid Cutler, that doesn’t mean the 49ers have to make the same mistake and go down the same road to mediocrity.

                Some of you don’t value depth at all. The Seahawks were one of the deepest teams in the NFL last season.

              3. I somewhat agree with Grant here …. someone has to be accountable for what we’re seeing as repeated mistakes during critical times. Grant could go even further back – that same pass to the left, was intercepted for a pick 6 in 2012 playoffs with GB in San Francisco. THE – SAME – PASS. Who’s tracking this stuff and helping Kap get better? Chryst? Is it the WRs aren’t running the proper routes and in the right spot(s)? Many of you know how I feel about John Morton (needs help or needs to be replaced). Personally I don’t care how much Kap “grinds” in the weight room. I want him to “grind” film. Every play. Understand what he’s not seeing on the field so when presented with the next challenge, he has a better perspective/vision.

              4. What would have happened if Flacco hadn’t delivered a Super Bowl though, Grant? There’s a possibility that he might not even be in Baltimore right now. They took the wait and see approach and worked and he was rewarded with a huge contract. Had they not won it all I’m sure Flacco would have still felt that he was deserving of the contract he received regardless and Baltimore might have thought otherwise.

                If the 49ers take the same approach this season and Kaep again fails to win a championship, there could be bad blood at that point, being that he will still want the $18-$20 million per season and Baalke, Marathe and York could pull back and offer much less.

          4. Yes, the Seahawks were deep. So are the 49ers. I don’t see why that is relevant.

            And you know what else about the Seahawks? In a year, they’re going to give Russell Wilson an enormous extension. And they would have given Wilson that enormous extension even if SF beat them in the NFCCG.

            1. That last sentence may not be true.

              Wilson is quickly becoming a complete, clutch QB. He makes other players better. He turned an undrafted rookie — Jermaine Kearse — into a weapon last season. Wilson may become great. The Seahawks get to wait and see a bit longer.

              1. I’m not arguing that Wilson isn’t very good. He’s very, very good. But come on, they would have given him a huge extension regardless. You seriously think that the Seahawks would have considered letting Wilson walk if he hadn’t won a super bowl, but still had that regular season performance?

              2. If Wilson had revealed himself to be a mistake-repeater and a season-ender, the Seahawks probably would draft another QB this year, yes.

              3. Grant, you seem to be conflating what NFL GM’s do with what YOU would do.

                It is perfectly acceptable to say that, if you were Seattle’s GM, you would have considered replacing Wilson if he lost to the Niners on a repeat mistake.

                But to think Seattle would have actually done that is false. You know it’s false. We all know it’s false. Look at what Wilson has done in his first 2 seasons. Then look around the league at players like Locker, Gabbert, Freeman, Glennon, Pryor. Wilson could have had 5 interceptions in the NFCGG and Seattle would be preparing to offer him a huge extension.

                It’s completely fine if you think that’s the wrong thing to do. But you’re basing your claims on false premises, because you’re basing them on what GM-Grant would do, not on what NFL-GM would do.

              4. NFL GMs base their decisions in reality, not fantasy. Wilson had to prove it, and he’s been proving it so far. Kaepernick has not. He needs to stop making the same huge mistakes that end seasons prematurely. He’s lucky Hyde dropped that pick and the 49ers made it out of the first round.

              5. Well now you’re just contradicting yourself.

                You say that NFL GM’s act on reality, not fantasy, and that’s why you’re right about Russell Wilson.

                Yet here you are, telling the 49ers GM that he’s making a huge mistake by planning to give Kap money.

                So if what you say is true – that NFL GM’s at on reality, not fantasy – then I guess we an conclude that Colin Kaepernick is – in reality – a great quarterback.

              6. Nope. In reality, the 49ers would be making a huge, unnecessary risk based on very little data which includes serious red flags concerning Kaepernick’s ability to improve and win the big one.

              7. Funny how 20-something games isn’t enough data to conclude that Kaepernick is as good as his numbers suggest, yet 0 games was enough data for you to believe that he should be replacing Alex Smith.

                You are nothing if not a prime goalpost mover, Grant Cohn. And for that I applaud you.

              8. I know you did. Good for you. But you also bashed Smith and said that Kaepernick would be the better QB, making all of those Kaepernick claims without him having played in any games.

              9. It doesn’t matter what you thought, Grant. That’s a completely separate argument. This is all I’m saying:

                1. You thought that the 49ers should start a player with 0 starts over an -established veteran.

                2. You don’t think the 49ers should offer Kap a contract because 20 starts is not enough to form an opinion of a player.

              10. Apples and oranges. A QB change is not the same as giving a QB $20 mil per and sacrificing depth.

              11. Wilson looked like garbage in that NFC Championship game, fumbled in the red zone and had about 4 intentional grounding penalties that were never called…. He also had the benefit of a ground game, what was marshauns production vs Gore??? What did Gore have 10 yards? I won’t even mention what was possible the worst officiated game this decade. See football isn’t so black and white… You keep mentioning Kaeps int’s but fail to mention he is one of the league leaders in NOT throwing INTS, he rarely turns the ball over. He played better against the Seattle D than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, yeah those guys stink too. So you obviously want to jettison Kaep, so Grant who out there is better, what qb should the 49ers pursue.

              12. Kaepernick fumbled twice and got picked twice down the stretch against the Seahawks last year. He’s lucky Jonathan Goodwin fell on one of the fumbles. Kaepernick’s implosion was historic.

              13. They’re more similar than you think. They’re both decisions that directly impact a team’s chances of winning a super bowl in that year, and the next two or three.

            2. Whatever Kap ends up signing for, Wilson’s getting more. If Cam plays out his rookie deal, so will he. And Luck will blow all of them out of the water.

              1. Yeah but Andrew Luck threw a ton of ints (faaaar more than Kaep) and costs his team so Grant thinks Andrew Luck stinks as well.

  8. Grant sounds like first-time home buyer in the current Bay Area housing market — in denial of market forces.

      1. “Big Bucks”, Grant ?

        Here’s a little math exercise for ya …

        Compare $18 million … to

        9 BILLION .. PLUS

        We’re talking … passing wind in a hurricane !

        1. I don’t know MWN. Sometimes that wind passing can very dangerous, especially coming from a guy (or gal) that just ate a pizza loaded with everything. And you’re with them in a small car with the windows all rolled up.

      2. Grant…kap was top 7 in QBR this past year, has a record of 21-8-1 as a starter, and has only been a starter for only a 1yr 1/2 ( one full off season)! This is what the market is for QB’s and the cap is gonna hit $150 million in 2 yrs. He has all the potential in the world even more then Wilson. kap played 11 games without his #1 WR and Davis was hurt through out the year.

        He has done more than Cutler, Romo, Stafford, Ryan, and Rivers which all make more money than him and are older. He is gonna get paid and it’s time to just except it and focus on putting play makers around him!

        1. I don’t care about Kaepernick’s potential. I care about his ability to realize his potential under this coaching staff. He doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

          1. That’s completely untrue.

            Has he repeated mistakes? YES. duh. Repeating mistakes doesn’t mean he doesn’t learn from them. That’s absurd.

            1. He learned nothing from the end of the Super Bowl, and then repeated that mistake in the NFC Championship, and then bragged that he would make the same decision again. He learned nothing.

              And he has not learned to look before throwing short to his left. If he can’t see underneath coverage to his left by now, he may never see it.

              1. How in the hell can you conclude that he learned nothing from that?

                First off, the NFCGG was 19 games and hundreds of throws later. You can’t just cherry pick one throw to use as a stat to prove what you want.

                Second off, both plays were called by Roman, signed off on by Harbaugh. JH has said that they were designed one-read throws.

                Third, they were different down-and-distances, different designed plays, different junctions in the game, and nearly a quarter of a football field away from each other. If the fact that they were both right-end zone throws to Crabtree makes them the “same” in your book, then you have the football knowledge of a pop warner player.

              2. Desperation throws he intended to make before the snap even though he had timeouts to talk to the coaches. If he had nailed the throws, that would be another thing. But both throws were horrible. He learned nothing.

              3. Grant, when your editors say “we absolutely need you to cover this game” what do you do? In the final minutes of a huge game, when your coach says “run this play,” there is no crime in running it.

                Second, neither throws were horrible. In the Super Bowl, that would have been a touchdown with less aggressive/borderline illegal coverage. In the NFCGG he was inches short on a 40-yard throw. neither of those were horrible. Just not good enough.

              4. No crime in calling a timeout, either. What else are you saving them for? Poor game management not to use it.

                Not good enough is not something to be rewarded. Either you’re good enough or not good enough. So far, Kaepernick has not been good enough to win a Super Bowl because of the repeated mistakes he has made. If and when he stops making those mistakes and stops preventing the top roster in the league from winning a Super Bowl, extend him.

              5. Montana wasn’t a mistake-repeater, and he carried a team to a Super Bowl win when he was just 25 years old.

                Kaepernick is along for the ride. The 49ers carry him.

              6. Montana was good enough to not blow the game winning throw in the NFC Championship Game when he was a 2nd year starter at the end of his 3rd season in the league.

              7. Grant, you are calling Kap a mistake repeater based on two throws he made a year apart. You weren’t even alive or watching football for most of Joe’s career. You have no right to say whether or not he repeated mistakes on single throws one year apart. The man threw 139 interceptions; obviously he repeated mistakes from time to time.

              8. No he’s not. Kaepernick made the same mistake in the Wildcard game that he made in the Championship game, only he got away with it the first time.

              9. What was the same mistake he made in the wild-card game? making an ill-advised pass?

                Are you suggesting that none of Montana’s 139 interceptions were ill-advised passes?

              10. all right then. we’ve established that no great quarterback has ever thrown an interception to the same side of the field twice before.

                Great jeebus man, Peyton Manning repeated mistakes in the same GAME in the Super Bowl.

                Every. QB. Repeats. Mistakes.

          2. Did you even read the rest of what I wrote?? He is a good player and is young and still learning the game, He is a leader and is the first one in the gym and last one to leave! He has the desire to want to be the best and isn’t that what you want in a QB? Yes is a project ( not everyone is Luck) and needs to work on touch passes and time management, but he has the tools to become a top 5 QB for the next 10 yrs. I bet there would be 25 other teams that would love to sign him.

  9. [i]“In the NFC championship game in Seattle last season, Kaepernick threw an interception to the Seahawks’ strong safety, Kam Chancellor, in the crucial fourth quarter when Kaepernick fell apart. Kaepernick dropped back, looked left and fired a pass to Anquan Boldin. But Chancellor was standing right in front of Boldin. Somehow, Kaepernick never saw Chancellor.”[/i]

    That play sounds just like one Montana threw against the Bengals in Montana’s third Super Bowl only the defender dropped it in his own end zone. As is usual, if the catch is made the other team wins. In reality, Montana threw a touchdown on the third down, and that setup their comeback win a little later in the game.

    Grant, you are cherry picking again. Montana hit the guy right in the numbers, and the receiver was behind the defender and being double teamed.

    What Harbaugh says in press conferences is theater. Enjoy it for what it is.

    1. The point is Kaepernick didn’t learn from that mistake, and hasn’t learned from other ones. It’s fair to wonder if he will improve.

      1. Are you suggesting that Montana learned from the mistake he made in his third Super Bowl after ten years in the NFL? Or could it have just been the kind of field vision problem that happens to all quarterbacks on occasion?

        Montana probably did learn from his three interceptions against Dallas and the one he threw to start his first Super Bowl.

        It’s cherry picking and you shouldn’t need to do that.

        1. I’m suggesting Kaepernick seems to be a mistake-repeater. He learned nothing from the end of the Super Bowl, and has not improved his vision on short passes to the left.

          1. harbaugh said it right too… personally, i really really believe in kap. but our offensive system and our coaches pedigrees were always a run first team. we’re not a team that likes to make ‘risky’ throws. they call plays based on reads and coverages determined by the coaching staff. sometimes theres only 1-2 reads in the play and there’s no reason to blame kap for it. coaches deserve just as much blame for not implementing a more advanced system for kap. but that all comes with kaps youth in the league and i think he’ll develop into a top tier qb. this guy is special and has all the confidence to be something special for years to come. you can’t pass up on that talent and give him what he deserves. he has great arguments for his case to be a top paid qb. let the 49ers figure it out because they have always done a great job at resigning their own players at below market prices. we’ll be fine though. it looks like we’re going to draft brandin cooks in my eyes. heady player who’s routes are already extremely polished. quick and can make plays after the catch. definitely a better nfl prospect than tavon austin was a year ago. add him to a healthy crab, boldin, and now we’re talking about an evolution to our offense. we never had a slot guy to expand our offense. i truly feel that cooks is that guy. whether it be us trading up or standing pat to get him. we should most definitely get him. our interest in these slot guys shows me that we want to evolutionize our offense. with all this being said… stop with the stupid speculation and just trust the 49ers gms and coaches cuz they’re good. they definitely know more than you do and all i wish is that the 49ers aren’t as conservative and let kap loose. i think he’s ready and expect big big things from him in the years to come.

      2. alright lay this out for you… in the super bowl he threw that pass cuz he was expecting 0 cover blitz. they 0 cover blitzed and they got instant pressure up the middle and threw a fade to crab. kap admits to this day that he just wished he gave crabtree a chance and lobbed it a little higher. it was the right read but under all the immense pressure from a qb with 10 games under his belt…. give him a little break… what better way to end an nfc championship game? none of the 49ers think of sherman that highly let alone the league. sherman is amazing cuz of his safeties. he’s a very very intellectual player that likes to talk a lot and put his face in the media. people know about him and he does show up when he needs to. crab had one on one with sherman and kap made the right read to be honest. good throw, good read, and if you actually watch the replay, sherman was out of position but his body control from that tip saved him. kap is right, 1-2 feet further on that throw, 49ers go on to demolish the broncos in the super bowl. come on cohn…

        1. Kaep should have thrown to the right by pylons and the ball would have gone out of bounds. Instead it was tipped by Sherman (who is great as is the entire secondary) game over. Kaep had 2 timeouts remaining which he should have used b/4 making that throw to advance down the field. Poor time management by both Kaep and Harbaugh and poor throw to Sherman which he said he would do again. Didn’t learn a lesson.

      3. All the bad plays in the fourth qtr would have never happened if the defensive coaching staff dosen’t play sorry Carlos Rogers who gave up a TD on fourth and seven. If that play doesn’t happen, the niners are still up and don’t have to try and force anything. Grant, give the Kaepernick hating a rest. It’s old. He is a talented QB who still needs to progress, but compared to the other QBs in the league he is in the top ten, as far as performance and helping his team go deep in the playoffs.

      4. You must think Andrew Luck stinks, he threw a ton of picks in both of his post seasons and cost his team. You must think every qb in the nfl stinks….. Ben Rothlisberger put up 150 yds 1 td 1 int in his first superbowl which he won, Colin put up phenomenal numbers in a superbowl which he lost. How about the defense giving up more than 30 pts vs the Ravens??? Colins the only reason we were in the superbowl and the only reasons we were in that game against the seahawks. No context in this article or any article you write. Colin steal your girlfriend or something?

  10. Seriously, every time I think Grant can’t make me feel any more embarrassed for him than I already do…
    You don’t pay people based on what they may do in the future?
    Seriously…? I honestly cannot wrap my head around how a professional sports writer can say something like that.
    So contracts, which are to be paid to an individual in the future, should be strictly based on what you have accomplished in the past? There should be no thought given to age/potential/development what so ever?
    Well golly Grant, I guess we better give Joe Montana a 10 year 250 million dollar contract then. Nobody’s accomplished more on the field than Joe right? Who cares what he may (or may not) be able to accomplish. We’re strictly looking backwards here!

    Look, I’m not unrealistic. I know Kaep wants a lot of money. Maybe too much, I don’t know. But please, please, PLEASE stop pretending he hasn’t accomplished anything. An exceptional regular season win/loss percentage, multiple play off wins, many one the road, an NFC championship and a Super Bowl appearance are not nothing. Are they a Super Bowl win? No, but they are FAR above average results. Especially for a 2nd year starter. Stop soft soaping Kaep’s successes. Yes there are holes in his game. No doubt. I’m not a rah rah guy. But it’s 3 years in! Holes are pretty common at this stage Grant. Even for the great ones. But for some reason you just don’t seem to be interested in anything resembling journalism here. Same as it ever was I guess.

      1. For once I agree with you…. Unfortunately we deserve more from the blog writer paid to cover our team.
        Branch never had to resort to this garbage.

        1. Good Gawd, Bay! Get to a hospital immediately, you’re having some kind of seizure! In the last few minutes you’ve agreed with Prime AND said that Alex Smith was better than somebody. Freakin’ pigs are flying everywhere!

        2. You only think it’s garbage because he’s being critical of Kaep and lord have mercy on anyone who has the audacity to write about him.
          If this article was about Alex Smith’s mistakes in the big game you would have no problem with it.

          No one has mentioned what would happen to how his teammates would react to Kaep when he becomes THE HIGHEST PLAYER on the roster, and yet still lacks the intangible leaderships qualities during crunch time. How many more hail mary throws to Crabtree, or bling passes to the left will it take before you realize Kaep is not there yet and should be paid like he is until he proves it by WINNING IT ALL.
          Russell Wilson did it in his 2nd year, with only 9 more starts.
          People forget how much Kaep sucked in the Super Bowl until the lights went out.

        3. We don’t deserve anything! When Grant was trashing Alex Smith you were his BFF. Now that he is stating his opinion on CK and it’s what you don’t want to hear, suddenly Grants the enemy?
          Grow up!

    1. Grants a little immature boy…. Only novice fans focus on only superbowls, they are hard to win only one qb does a year.. Does Dan Marino suck, does Warren Moon suck? Trent Difer won a superbowl is he great? A trip to a superbowl and an NFC Championship, 75% of teams and fan bases would be ecstatic for that.

  11. I don’t think Harbaugh can take the entire blame for Kaep’s inconsistent decision-making. He’s been with Harbaugh for two full seasons now, so it’s time for Kaep to take off the training wheels.

    1. They tried that already MidWest, and the result was a 1-2 start. It took Harbaugh/Roman putting the training wheels back on to get this team on the right track in the first half of the season.

          1. I’m guessing that it affected Kaep to a good degree given the fact that he ran wild during the playoffs. That said, he still needs to work on being a better pocket passer and decision-maker. Harbaugh can coach Kaep up on that all he wants, but it’s up to Kaep to get a better feel of the pocket and not made headache inducing decisions this upcoming season.

            1. He was making some big runs in Tennessee and against Jacksonville at the end of the first half too. I’m not concerned about his running. We know he can do that.

              1. I’m not either. I was just pointing out that it probably did affect him. But like I said, it’s up to Kaep to ride the bike without the training wheels this upcoming season.

  12. Grant,

    Spot on.
    Yesterday Spaceborn posted an artical that had a video of Coach Walsh working on footwork with Montana.Montana’s footwork was the same ,flawless in practice, flawless while playing the game. How come Kaepernick’s footwork is the same today as in the first year of his playing. Because he is either not learning or has not been instructed in the proper technique.
    In my world that is a failure in coaching . As Harbaugh would say,How about coaching the man!

    1. Did you ever see the video of Montana’s Dad explaining how much he worked on footwork with Joe as a kid? Joe’s footwork was very well developed when he got to Walsh. I’m pretty sure Joe took a few more snaps from under center at Notre Dame than Kap did at Reno.

      The whole “Kap hasn’t improved” take is so ridiculous. To go from running the pistol/read-option at Reno to outperforming Brees and Manning against one of the toughest pass defenses in the last decade in 3 years is improvement.

    2. Montana played in a pro style system at Notre Dame, Kaepernick played in a non pro style at Nevada, little different learning curve. Did any of the mental midgets on here watch Kaep at Nevada? Harbaugh has helped him grow by leaps and bounds. Everybody in the nfl refers to Jim Harbaugh as one of the best qb guru’s in the business and little Grant who probably couldn’t throw a football 20 yards on the fly doubts Jim Harbaugh…. Get some real men writers that have connections to the league to cover the 49ers.

  13. I read something where Kiper was talking about underrated prospects. He mentioned BYU safety Daniel Sorenson. I looked at his combine numbers and they are amazing. His 40 is a tad slow but he improved on it at his pro day. But his shuttle times and cone time are some of the best at the combine and tops for a safety in years. He was a solid 3 year starter. He is my sleeper pick for this year.

    1. There are a lot of potential gems in later rounds in DBs and other Niner needs. All those mid round picks that they possess can find a couple of hidden gems and be used for serious trade bait for future draft picks.

  14. One thing for sure, if the PD paid Grant based on what he has accomplished in the past, Grant would owe the PD a LOT of money.

    1. Grant is starting a controversial dialog. It’s a bit uncomfortable for some. Grant is not suggesting the 49er organization get rid of Kaepernick, only that they give him less money or wait until his contract is up. You say this will cause bad feelings. Am I confused, but isn’t he the employee.

      1. Will it really cause bad feeling? It will cause Kaepernick to play during a contract year. Since when is that bad? Players don’t dog it during a contract year.

  15. > You don’t pay people based on what they do in the future. <
    I think you guys are being too hard on Grant. It's his opinion. Its an opinion that happens to be 180 degrees exactly opposite to the mainstream thinking of NFL executives, as often elucidated by BB, Ozzie, Parcells, Pollian and The Steelers organization over the years. In the frivolous opinions of those fan boys, you ONLY pay for future production. Sentimentality for efforts and accomplishments in the past is what players want recognition for and is NOT the basis of a business decision and not how GM's approach it. Past performance gives the team the ammo to make a guess of what that future performance will be so that they can make a value judgement, which then has to be factored into the market at that moment. Steelers brass will tell you today that much of their current personnel distress is because they strayed from their theme to pay some great players, but it's biting them now. They were paying Troy and others for the past. Injuries hastened drop offs, but injuries are like the weather, they happen.
    So, again, Grant can have his opinion. Some days it's clear that he doesn't always know what he's talking about. So when he criticizes Baalke and Harbaugh and then says something that's totally wrong,…well that implies he may not be the one I want to take my advice from, and Trent and Jim might just be on the right track.

    1. Hey, Grant’s being hard on people who he doesn’t think are doing their jobs well, we’re just giving him the same treatment ;)

      1. That was only a coincidence because of the Brett Favre situation and Favre’s initial contracts.

        In case you forgot, Kap’s contract expires after next season. It’s act soon, or start all over.

        If you really think that Ted Thompson was sitting there thinking “okay, we’re going to wait until Rodgers wins a Super Bowl and an MVP before we give him money,” then dream on.

        You’re conveniently forgetting that Rogers signed a 6-year, $65 million extension after only ONE year as a starter. 6/$65 in 2008 is pretty similar to what Kap is looking to get now.

      2. Actually going to a superbowl and an nfc championship is a major accomplishment, learn football and stop playing magic the gathering.

  16. So let me get this straight . . . .

    You berate Harbaugh and Kap for not being open to the media, then tell Harbaugh that he shouldn’t have answered a question about Kap’s contract because it’s “not Harbaugh’s concern”?

    You often mention (in a praising way) that Bill Walsh was great about letting players go (such as Montana) when he sensed their time was up, because you had to pay players based on what they would do, not on what they had done, but then you say the Niners would be fools to pay Kap for what he will do, instead of for what he has done?

    You think that Kaepernick, who has won games with designed runs, with read options, and by barely running, who has set an NFL record for QB rushing, and who has the most unique athletic skillset of any NFL QB, isn’t “creative”?

    And you think the 49ers would be “rewarding” Kap, rather than….I dunno…making a decision so as to not throw away a prime championship window?

    Get real.

      1. And I give you an A+ for the outstanding ability to completely avoid the fair points that were made against you.

        Sometimes you simply ooze professionalism, Grant…

          1. Then why don’t you refute them instead of being a petty 3rd grader?

            Seriously, Grant. I made good points. The fact that you refuse to respond to them means you are either wildly unprofessional, or extremely cowardly.

            Also Rodgers got 6/$65 million after one year of starting. Don’t tell me that point is less than fair.

              1. I believe at the time he signed the deal it made him one of the 5 highest paid QBs in the NFL.

              2. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82aaa669/article/aaron-rodgers-will-benefit-from-drew-brees-contract-but-when

                “When he signed his six-year, $65 million contract in 2008 — midway through his first year as a starter — he was the fourth-highest paid passer in the league. To some, it seemed like a reach because of lack of experience.”

                Something of a similar situation – if Kaep signs a top 5 deal some will consider it a reach due to experience. He will then either live up to it… or not.

              3. Clearly you’ve never heard of inflation. As Scooter pointed out, fifth highest QB in the league. That’s about what Kap’s looking at; maybe less.

              4. Yeah, QB salaries have gone up a stupid amount – top guys are now getting around double what they were in 2008, but the cap has only gone up by 15%.

              5. Grant,

                Whether or not Rodgers first extension was “big bucks”, or not, is relative to the time in which the contract was signed. If that contract made Rogers the fifth highest paid NFL QB at the time, then it was for “big bucks”.

                If CK signed an extension that would make him the fifth highest paid NFL QB, he would average over $19M (Peyton Manning is currently the fifth highest paid QB at $19.2M per year). That’s “big bucks”, isn’t it? Why wouldn’t Rogers extension be considered “big bucks”, if it made him the fifth highest paid NFL QB at the time?

                Not to mention that, at that time, Rogers had done far less than what CK has done up to now.

                In a vacuum, I think letting CK play out his rookie contract, reassessing his worth after 2014, would be a fine strategy. Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

                There are lots of complicating factors. When you have chumps like Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo getting paid what they do, it’s hard to ask CK to take less.

              6. It’s all about how much of the salary cap the QB is taking up. If he’s taking up too much of it and he is not great, the team is in trouble. See: Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore.

              7. When Rodgers signed his deal in 2008 the salary cap was $116 million. His 6 year/$65 million (10.83 mil annual avg) contract accounted for 9.34% of the Packers total salary cap.

                Using that percentage, the equivalent contract for Kaepernick in 2014 with a salary cap of $133 million would average $12.42 million.

              8. Exactly. And that would be reasonable. Still, no reason to do any extension this offseason.

              9. It was a top 5 contract at the time for 7 games started. The Rogers experience is a argument for extending Kap.

              10. Sure, for 5 years, $65 million. There is no way Kaepernick should earn $18+ mil per season right now and take up that much of the salary cap.

              11. NO. it’s not all about salary cap percentage. it’s about MARKET VALUE.

                This is about economics, not football. The market value for a QB of Kap’s age and skill level is in the $16-20 million/year range. Once a QB like Kap reaches the point where he currently is, then you have three options: 1) sign him to the market value that has been established by the competitor’s in your business. 2) sign a QB like Josh McCown. or 3) start all over with a rookie.

                Economics, Grant. Not football.

              12. Options 2 and 3 are better because the 49ers get to maintain having depth and the top roster in the NFL. It’s not worth throwing that away for Kaepernick. Not yet, at least. He needs to prove he can see underneath coverage to his left, for starters. He needs to prove he’s not a mistake-repeater. Mistake-repeaters don’t win Super Bowls.

                Zach Mettenberger could win a lot of games as the 49ers’ starting QB. So could David Fales.

              13. Scooter, isn’t that the expected outcome given the CBA. Rookies get less because they didn’t have a vote/advocate, and the rest of the players get more $, as there is more $ under the cap as a result. It’s also why draft picks are more valuable than before the CBA, particularly high draft picks that are more likely to result in starters. IMO the 9ers should consider going with a guard in the 1st 3 rounds. We’ll probably go with a WR, and whichever one works out better makes the Iupati/Crabs decision easier next year.

              14. Grant, that’s easy to say now. Sure, we think Fales and Mettenberger could get it done now. But look at the last few drafts: Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel. Even more talented players like RG3 and Ryan Tannehill wouldn’t get it done for the 49ers.

                We have a championship window. And if we get rid of Kap, that championship window will shrink, because Crabtree will almost surely walk and then Boldin’s contract will expire and we’re back to square 1 at WR.

                Staking your future on a QB in the draft – especially in the late 1st or 2nd round – is far too risky. Hell, look at Matt Barkley . . . dude would have been #1 overall if he came out in 2012….instead he couldn’t get past Mike Vick on the depth chart.

                So yes, it would make sense to let Kap go and draft and equally talented QB. But there’s no guarantee whatsoever that the Niners can do that.

              15. So your idea is to draft a QB like Fales with no NFL experience and that will make our team better?? Thank god your not the Niners GM lol. Like I mentioned the cap is gonna be around $150 million in 2 yrs and we have our core players already signed and have 6 picks in the top 100 (cheap rookie deals)…if we sign him at $20 million a yr it would be about 7.5% of our cap. It’s all about his guaranteed money away way.

                You make it sound like it ‘s easy to get a QB, like we can stick whoever and it will be better, what a joke lol

              16. I love that after everything I wrote that’s your response…I understand you are trying to stir the pot and get a response because that’s your job, but try to be a little objective and not just strait negative. I don’t think I’ve read an article from you that talks about any positives of the Niners or Kap?

                I supplied facts he was 7th in total QBR this yr and had 4 4th qr comebacks including playoff game against the packers (21-8-1)…I understand he needs some work, but he has done more in a 1yr 1/2 then most qbs who are getting paid more (Ryan,Rivers,Stafford,Cutler ect).

                I am curious if you were GM and you clearly don’t want to sign Kap, what would you do? How would you make the team or position better?

              17. Draft a QB on Day 2 of this draft and develop him while Kaepernick plays out his final year on the contract. If he explodes and becomes a great QB and a Super Bowl Champion, pay him everything he wants. If he doesn’t improve, franchise him or let him walk.

              18. See I don’t hate that idea, but judging on what the front office has done in the past (they like to sign players before they are FA) I just don’t see it happening….I thought it would be a possibility before the picked up Gabbert.

  17. What’s the difference between an auto salesman praising a car, and Harbaugh praising a quarterback? The auto salesman knows when he’s lying.

    Not worried about Harbaugh’s public praise, private criticism approach. That’s his quirky way. “Plutonium Grade”, “Elite”, “Top Quarterbacks” is his way of having off season fun.

    “Kaepernick tends to throw blindly to his left. He almost never sees underneath coverage on that side of the field.” Yup. This has gone back a long time. If Harbaugh can’t break him of this habit, it won’t go away soon.

    As far as paying for potential, its a gamble either way….
    - Wait for Kaep to have a great yeay before signing an extension, the contract will cost more.
    - Sign him now, and he could Flacco-ize the salary cap for years… and also miss out on a salary cheap 2014 season.

  18. I see all this talk by F.O. and Harbaugh as part of broader negotiating tactics where the entire Niners organization is shown to be in complete agreement in their high regard for Kap. Hopefully, there will be a small hometown discount by Kap for this unanimous desire by the Niners to deservedly pay him the big bucks.

    1. It does seem like a three pronged approach to signing Kaepernick now rather than next year. It’s a normal NFL risk of doing business. Who’s going to get better, who’s going to stay the same, and who’s going downhill, that’s the question! … WS

  19. I have a question for you Grant:

    Name 10 quarterbacks you would rather start over Kaepernick against the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

    Please, enlighten all of us with your wisdom.

        1. Which has very little relevance since the team Alex Smith very different than the team Colin Kaepernick played.

        2. Jack,

          That was a Grant style response. Seemingly on point, but, upon further review, not.

          You know, as well as anyone, that Seahawk team was a pale shadow of what they are now.

          1. Sorry, but it’s a fact that Smith was the last 49ers QB to win in Seattle.

            Would they have won any of their last three trips up there if Smith were the QB? None of us knows for sure, but a strong argument could be make that they would have and likely vice versa.

            1. Jack,

              That’s true, no one can dispute that, but it can also not be disputed that Seahawks were far better when the 49ers visited with CK as their QB as compared to AS.

              The argument as to whether or not AS would’ve won any of the games in Seattle the 49ers lost with CK, is silly, since it’s unknowable what would’ve happened had the 49ers had AS at QB in those games.

            2. Smith is underrated. His ability to not make the big mistake is special, and he comes through at the end of games — the pass the Davis against New Orleans, the pass to Crabtree in Seattle, etc.

              I thought Smith was terrific last season in Kansas City. He keeps improving.

              1. Talk out of both sides of your mouth much? Should I begin to pull up all the articles you wrote to disparage Smith?

              2. Grant,

                I’m going to start referring to you as the Weatherman, because your opinions change like the weather.

                You used to rip Smith for being afraid to make plays, being too conservative etc, and now that you need him to make an argument against Kap (who you also were saying was waaaayyyy better than Smith two years ago) that trait you used to criticize him for is now a positive?

                Smith was very good in SF playing the way his HC wanted him to, and winning games. I said it then when you didn’t feel the way you feel now that he’s gone. Now Kap is doing the exact same thing for the most part in playing smart football and not making the big mistake most of the time, and you are ripping on him the same way you did with Smith. You accuse me of being a homer, when I’m supporting QB’s who are winning and leading this team deep into the playoffs. My opinion is based on results and doesn’t change because of a few outlying stats or a handful of bad plays.

                If Kap was struggling and this team was going 8-8, I’d be right there at the head of the line saying no way he should get a big deal, but that isn’t the case. People can’t criticize his record so instead we get this myopic look into a few key plays he didn’t make or footwork issues. You pay QB’s to win games and make plays. Kap does that. End of story.

              3. You pay a QB $20 mil per season to win at least one Super Bowl. Kaepernick doesn’t do that because he’s a mistake-repeater. End of story. When he stops being a mistake-repeater, maybe then he’ll be worth $20 mil a season.

                Alex Smith isn’t a great quarterback either, but he’s improving and he’s not a mistake-repeater. If he gets a stacked deck, he can win the Super Bowl. That’s the definition of “good.” Kaepernick doesn’t yet fit that description.

              4. His ability to not make the big mistake?? Really? Hahaha.c’mon Grant..a couple games and he’s now considered clutch..gimme a break..

              5. Grant,

                You pay a QB you believe you can win a championship with. Kap has shown the ability to be that guy in a very short period of time. Stop fixating on the number. The number is what the market says it is. Rodgers getting more than 10 mill per after 7 starts is no different than Kap getting 18 mill or whatever the actual number is, after 29.

                You keep saying Kap didn’t win with a stacked deck yet refuse to admit the deck wasn’t stacked for him. He played in Seattle with no running game. How is that a stacked deck? He played in the SB after 9 career starts with a defense that was getting shredded by opposing passing games. How is that a stacked deck?

                He’s a top ten ranked QB with a year and a half of starting under his belt. He’s just scratched the surface of what he can become. This is the type of player you lock up now because his number is just going to get bigger in the future.

              6. Kaepernick hasn’t shown that ability. He failed at the end of the Super Bowl, and he failed the same way the next season at the end of the NFC Championship. He failed at the end of the Wild Card game, too, but Hyde dropped it. Tremendously troubling stuff.

                Re: Rodgers. It’s different. Kaepernick would be taking up a larger portion of the salary cap than Rodgers did.

                The run game was fine the week before in Carolina.

              7. “You pay a QB you believe you can win a championship with.”

                How has that worked out for Dallas, Chicago, and Detroit?

              8. Grant, Jack,

                At least Kap got there. He also did it after 9 starts, then came back the following year when SB runner ups traditionally drop out contention completely and nearly led them to a second one.

                Rodgers was paid commiserate with the rate of top QB’s at the time. Kap’s situation is no different other than the market rate for QB’s has exploded. The situation is exactly the same Grant.

              9. He’s right grant you were the biggest cheerleader to bench smith for kap. Now you want him back? Like father like son I guess. Every going to go out on you’re own? Still living at home too?,

            3. Jack,
              when is the last time the 49ers had a strong game by both their running back and defense in Seattle? I’ll give you a hint. It was Thursday Oct 18th 2012. On this day the defense was dominant. They held Russel Wilson to 9-23 with zero TD’s and one Int. His QB rating that day was 38.

              Gore was a beast that day. He accounted for 182 total yards. As he usually did, Alex Smith got credit for the win even though he was along for the ride that day. 140 yards passing with an Int and 6.1 yards per pass play. Typical Alex Smith.

              What’s important to note is that since that day Gore in three follow up games versus the Seahawks only has 167 combined yards in THREE GAMES in which they lost. The defense that was so stout that day only giving up 7 points has allowed 88 points in the three losses that followed. Why? Because we could not control the ball on the ground.

              Jack I get why Grant plays the wordsmith games on the blog. His intent is obvious. You used to be a good X’s and O’s guy but for some reason have become enamored with mimicking Grant’s ( Lowels ) style. Maybe you have jumped into Jr. Jedi training, unfortunately you don’t realize that you’ve jumped to the “dark side”. Use the force Jack use the force.

              1. Bay,

                “when is the last time the 49ers had a strong game by both their running back and defense in Seattle? I’ll give you a hint. It was Thursday Oct 18th 2012.”

                You are a wealth of misinformation.

                That game was at Candlestick, and you conveniently forgot that Smith threw a TD pass in that game. It was actually the difference maker.

                Since you brought up Gore’s numbers, you might want to mention that he rushed for 110 yards in Kaepernick’s lone win, including the 51 yard run that set up the game winning field goal.

                Kaepernick’s 6.0 yards per pass play in that win was actually less than the 6.1 from Smith in the game you mentioned. Whoops.

              2. It’s not a whoops Jack. First off Gore did rip off a 51 yard run in our win. We were losing that game though. And we were losing because our running game with Gore can no longer sustain drives. Up until that 51 yard run, Gore had roughly 50 yards averaging about 3 yards a pop.

                Basically it’s the running game or lack of that is costing us games against Seattle. Don’t know if it’s Gore, the type of runs that are being called or the offensive line. What I do know is that when Gore breaks free, he cannot get to the second level and run away from anyone. The lack of attempts to run wide with Gore make us awfully predictable. This is the area that I choose to focus on because it’s the formula that’s been shown to be most successful in beating the Seahawks.

                Until the refs start calling defensive holding penalties and until we get a WR that can run by a CB in single coverage, we will have to rely on winning with a running game period. It also helps to have a coach than can grow and become better at coaching in critical moments of the game.

              3. “We were losing that game though.”

                Yes, in part due to a Kaepernick interception in the red zone that took away potential points. Just like Smith did the previous year.

                When Smith was the QB you blamed everything on him, and now that Kaepernick is the QB you blame everything on everyone else. You’re doing the exact thing you used to rip on DS about.

              4. Jack,
                the one trend that bothers me the most are the non calls in games. Usually they balance eachother out. Yet in our games with Seattle they seem to really be obvious and one sided.

                I don’t have to reference the NFC Championship game. The non calls were there for all to see. In the previous game that was a win there was a blatant pass interference against Crabs in the end zone that was not called. Multiple plays in which Seattle is allowed to hold our guys at the line, beyond the line and down field.

                The NFL knows it’s an issue. That’s why they are changing rules regarding the usage of video replay. The NFL hates to change rules so we know that they know how bad it is. What bothers me though is that with our matchups against Seattle, the calls do not balance themselves out and I wonder why.

              5. Bay,

                They lost the game. End of story. Stop trying to blame it on everyone other than the QB.

            4. with game on line alex smith threw ball downfield and connected with crabtree between 2 defenders–kapernick threw pick with game on line

      1. You seem to give great credibility to ProFootballFocus. Based on performance, ProFootballFocus ranks Colin Kaepernick as a better quarterback, with all of his flaws, than Alex Smith both in 2013 and 2012.

        In other words, Alex Smith’s best two years of his career (which last year he was ranked as a negative overall) were still inferior to Colin Kaepernicks first two years as a starter.

        But, hey, ProFootballFocus is probably wrong, right?

        Well, ESPN is wrong then too, because Alex Smith’s QBR was lower the past two years (49.4 vs. 68.6 last year) and Alex Smith has only been rated as an “above average” quarterback once in 10 years.

        But, perhaps a more qualitative analysis is needed to determine who is better?

        Hmm… If only there was an instance where we could avoid hypotheticals, control for extraneous variables, and test our commitment to our decision based on millions of dollars and the future of a franchise on the line.

        Oh yea, that is right, Kaepernick and Smith did compete for the right to be the franchise quarterback of the 49ers. And the 49ers kept one, traded the other, and haven’t seemed to even come close to regretting their decision.

        Very few, if any, GM or head coach in the league that would prefer Alex Smith over Colin Kaepernick. Why is that? Is it because they like tattoos?

        No, it is because Alex Smith does not play to win, he plays to not lose.

        He is not a playmaker. He is making a career off check downs. He does not have the arm to stretch the field (compare their yards per completion). He is not dynamic. He holds on to the ball too long and takes too many sacks. He has trouble getting the offense into a rhythm and too many times the offense stalls. He does not strike fear into his opponents’ minds and defensive coordinators do not have trouble with their game plan against him. He is a low risk, low reward type of player. And that’s not going to earn you a win in the NFC Championships or Super Bowl.

        Colin Kaepernick is at the start of his career and the sky is the limit. He is already better than Alex Smith and the sky is the limit for him. He has room to improve wiht his mechanics and decision making, but he is already a proven winner both in the regular season and in the post season. He has the commitment to excellence, the work ethic, the physical attributes, and the talent to be great.

        1. Reading folks prop up Kaepernick over Smith based on yards per completion is interesting when you consider their passing yards are almost identical under Harbaugh.

          1. Jack Hammer,

            Nobody is propping up Kaepernick. If Alex Smith was the better quarterback, he would be the starting QB of the 49ers right now, not Kaepernick. And if the 49ers were unhappy with their decision, they wouldn’t be looking to extend his contract, which will probably be for a substantial amount of money.

            But instead of making a snarky and argumentative comment, why don’t you provide a reasonable counter argument supported by facts? The clear consensus is that Kaepernick is the better quarterback, so it seems to me it is you that needs to make your case if you believe Smith is the better quarterback.

            1. 007,

              I didn’t say that Smith was better. I said that their passing numbers are almost identical.

              Per game totals for Smith in starts from 2011-2012:
              203.76 yards, 1.3 TD’s, .38 int’s, record of 20-6, .76 win %

              Per game totals for Kaepernick in starts from 2012-2013
              213.17 yards, 1.3 TD’s, .55 int’s, record of 21-8, .72 win %

              “Kaepernick and Smith did compete for the right to be the franchise quarterback of the 49ers.”

              Yes they did. Smith won the competition and was the starting QB for the first half of 2012. Smith was then injured in the ninth game of the season, and Kaepernick took over the job with his performance.

              I said numerous times prior to the injury that Kaepernick was looked at as the QB of the future and Smith was the bridge.

              After Kaepernick took over and the results he put up were similar to those of Smith I said that the choice was simple, you go with the younger player.

              None of that changes the fact that since Harbaugh took over, the first legit head coach this franchise has had since Steve Mariucci, that Smith and Kaepernick put up almost identical passing numbers.

              That is also part of the reason why I believe that giving Kaepernick the money that he is reported to be seeking, $18-$20 million annually on average, will prove to be a mistake within 2-3 years.

              Let me share with you a comment that I received on my post yesterday from a gentleman named Marty. He makes some points that I did not originally consider.

              “The window for the 49ers could close big time next season.
              The 49ers defense has carried this team since Harbaugh arrived. That the way he wants it. However the great defense will start the season missing four starters. They are T. Brown, Whitner, Rogers & Bowman. A big hit.

              Against playoff teams the 49ers were 2 & 4 in 2013 (losses to Seahawks, Colts, Panthers & Saints). In all of them the offense struggled.

              Next season the Western division will be much improved. Seattle will not be the only team to watch. 49ers just beat Arizona, in both games the score was 23 to 20. Arians will be in his second season. The team should improve greatly. They have picked up some excellent free agents.

              The 49ers will play the second toughest division, the AFC West. We will be able to see Alex & KC.

              I will be very interested in the Eagles game, their offense & Kelly.
              The 49ers have to play in New Orleans again, loss to them last season.
              It should be interesting, the pressure will be on Harbaugh to win a SB. He knows what will happen if he doesn’t.”

              1. Quite possible. I’ll wait to see how the rest of free agency and the draft goes, along with how the schedule is laid out before making a prediction.

              2. This is the reality check blog and posts.
                Maybe use that wealth of mid round picks to do a mini rebuild…..?

              3. Jack Hammer,

                1. The traditional passer statistics you rely on are outdated and have reliability issues, because they do not measure context and individual performance. For example, was the crucial third-down completion due to the quarterback beating the coverage or a breakdown in coverage? Was it during garbage time or in the clutch? Was a 30-yard passing play a result of a 5-yard check-down (and a 25-yard run after the catch that included multiple broken tackles) or did the ball actually travel 30 yards to a receiver? It is no coincidence that every stat that does take into consideration such context, whether it is from ProFootballFocus or ESPN, grades Kaepernick considerably higher than Smith. Therefore, if the purpose of stating they have “almost identical passing numbers” is to support the argument that they, by deduction, have almost identical performance, this argument is weak. The statistics you used are not sophisticated enough to flush out the differences.

                2. Even if we use the traditional passer statistics you use, the reason they are “almost identical” is due to the system they played in and the efficiency of the quarterback’s role within that system. Both players executed what the coaches asked of them and there were restrictions that did not allow the differences of their talents to be quantitatively measured by the statistics you use. If you remember, when Jim Harbaugh became the head coach he “simplified” the offense to minimize Alex Smith’s many weaknesses and exploit his strengths. The offense were mainly a bunch of check-downs, Vernon Davis, and then a whole bunch of running by Frank Gore. When Smith got injured and Kaepernick came in, he was asked to operate within that same system, they didn’t overhaul the playbook or personnel. The reason his numbers were similar is because he executed the system that was tailored around Smith and still did as well as Smith did, which is impressive since Kaepernick had very little experience and Smith was having the best year of his career. But when the offense evolved to suit Kaepernick and the reward of unleashing him outweighed the risk of injury in the playoffs, it gave Kaepernick the opportunity to showcase his talents like he did in the playoffs against Green Bay and Atlanta. Now, the 49ers offense is going through a transition to utilize Kaepernick’s strengths. And the more the offense evolves, the less restrictions there are on Kaepernick, the more the difference between the two quarterbacks will be apparent. History will prove one of us right. I will admit it if I end up being wrong.

                I agree that $18 million is a lot of money. But, you have to put your GM hat on. The market price for a franchise quarterback is high and is only going to get higher. Let us not kid around, there is no way the 49ers are going to let Kaepernick walk. So, they either re-sign him now and lock him in at, for example, $18 million for 5 years, or they wait and end up paying more for him in the future.

              4. Smith is a better passer than Kaepernick right now. Smith sees the field better, is more accurate, has better footwork, makes fewer mistakes, manages the game better and plays with less talent than Kaepernick does. Kaeperick had three top-end receivers in the playoffs — Boldin, Crabtree and Davis. Smith had one — Bowe.

              5. “Per game totals for Smith in starts from 2011-2012:
                203.76 yards, 1.3 TD’s, .38 int’s, record of 20-6, .76 win %

                Per game totals for Kaepernick in starts from 2012-2013
                213.17 yards, 1.3 TD’s, .55 int’s, record of 21-8, .72 win %”

                100% right JH.
                This explains a few things:
                1. Decision to make Kap starter was taken beyond the numbers: at the very first opportunity he was thrown in
                2. Kap is far more exciting than Alex, but in the end only wins count. And they are on the same level
                3. Harb probably is in kind of a love with Kap: mistakes can be forgiven. Repeating the same mistake, on big stages, is outrageous because it means you lack football IQ
                4. it is the “supporting” (so to say) cast that took us there, to 2 NFCCG and 1 SB, not (only) Kap. The supp cast did it with Alex and redid it twice with Kap.

                I do not trust muscle kisses, on Superman zips. Cam has clearly made a step forward. Kap is still there, with kid behavious.
                That said, Kap can be our future, lock him is not a bad idea. But not with that big bucks. He doesn’t deserve, and honestly I do not know if he ever will.

        2. Are you a niner fan? Or a kap jocker? Did you watch the saints playoff game? Now go ahead remove that from your mouth and come with some real knowledge instead of just spewing crap

          1. lockjaw,

            If you are going to attack someone, you better first ensure you know your stuff.

            Yes, I saw Alex Smith’s performance against the Saints. It was impressive. Did you know that Alex Smith’s QBR during the Saints (58.1) is lower than Kaepernick’s WORST playoff game against the Ravens (61.1)? Was that Saints game the only game you watched or did you also see the very next game Alex Smith played and lost against the Giants at home where he had a 46.2% completion percentage and a 29.3 QBR?

            Or, did you see Kaepernick’s game against the Packers in 2012? The one where he embarrassed the Packers and finished with a 92.4 QBR? Many consider his performance one of the greatest playoff performances of a quarterback of all-time. What about the next game he won against Atlanta where he 94.8 QBR? What about his road playoff performances last year against the Packers (88.8 QBR) and stingy Panthers (71.9 QBR)?

            I am actually not a Kaepernick fan, per se. I am just counteracting some of the ridiculous assertions made on this blog by people too blinded by their hate to be reasonable and objective.

            1. JB,
              I love guys that bring up Alex Smith’s Saints performance. Which by the way was one of my top five 49er moments of all time. You bring up a good point though when referencing his QBR. First and foremost, when a QB is in the league for 8 years and you can only reference three or four great games, it tells you who he really is. Alex is not terrible, but he is average.

              Back to the Saints playoff game. Our defense handed the Alex led offense 5 turnovers, yet he needed a miracle to win the game. And he got one. Unfortunately you cannot count on miracles consistently. This last season Alex had a huge lead in his playoff game and ended up losing. Not only did his miracles dry up, but when he had his opportunity to win it in the end, he overthrew his wide open receiver. Alex is who he is. Alex’s Saints game makes him Buster Douglas. On a big night and a big stage Buster knocked out the baddest man on the planet. Up until then you didn’t have many Buster Douglas “great” moments. And immediately after that folks waiting to see more moments of greatness. While the boxing public did get moments of excitement from Buster, he never again demonstrated greatness from start to finish. Buster is Alex.

              I bring this up to you JB because if you take the folks that make negative comments directed towards Kaepernick in this room, you will find that they are for the most part leftover Alex Smith jock sniffers. Except for jack and Grant. They write disparaging remarks about Kaep because somehow they think they are reaching new heights in master writing by creating controversy.

            2. Did you see the superbowl? Or the NFC championship?, what does qbr matter when ypu make dumb decisions to blow the game. Maybe you had too many martinis and your memory is fuzzy. I’m not blind or hateful I’m just not an idiot with no football knowledge. I

              1. lockjaw,

                With respect to the NFC Championship game, Kaepernick was the most effective player on offense for the 49ers. He made many mistakes in the 4th quarter that Seattle capitalized on, but if it wasn’t for him, the game wouldn’t have come down to the final play. And his less than stellar performance was still better than the performances of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees against Seattle.

              2. Are you for real? You just proved my point. Man you know nothing. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

              3. lockjaw,

                It is easy to measure your lack of professionalism and intelligence by seeing how quickly you resort to ad hominem attacks, rather than addressing the quality of my reasoning. You made an argument and I directly rebutted it. Now, you may disagree with my rebuttal, but if you had the professionalism and intelligence to respond, you would. Even if you are lazy, if my assertions were really that delusional, it could be rebutted without much effort.

                In my effort to hold you accountable for your incompetence, I am not going to give up that easy. I am going to challenge you and give you another chance to demonstrate at least an iota of competence. I will make it easy on you by breaking down three assertions I made, which you can address:

                1. I claimed that for 3 quarters, Colin Kaepernick was the best player the 49ers had on offense. If I am wrong, please list the players that performed better than Colin Kaepernick and support your opinion with statistics.

                2. I claimed that Colin Kaepernick’s performance was arguably better than Peyton Manning’s and Drew Bree’s performance, whom are both elite quarterbacks. How is my assertion an embarrassment? In case you lack the diligence to look up facts, here is how they compared:

                Manning lost 43-8, 24.4 ESPN QBR, -0.7 overall ProFootballFocus, 0 yard rushing

                Brees lost 23-15, 39.4 ESPN QBR, 0.2 overall ProFootballFocus, 0 yard rushing

                Kaepernick lost 23-17, 65.1 ESPN QBR, 0.3 overall ProFootballFocus, 130 yard rushing

                Two statistics that measure a player’s overall performance and context from separate, independent, and credible sources corroborate my argument. If I was really that delusional, you would figure that neither of them would support my reasoning.

              4. So because you write overly long and wordy comments using a lot of numbers and big words you think you’re smart eh? Im guessing you blame the defense for giving up ten points after those three 4th qtr turnovers too. Garbage is met with garbage I guess. Please continue to enlighten us with your intelligence.

              5. Lockjaw, you’re completely out of line here. JamesBond is giving you his opinion, and backing up his opinion with reasonable evidence and statistics. You don’t have to agree with his opinion, but either address the points he took time to explain, or get out.

        3. Has anyone noticed that, when people write articulate, fact-based rebuttals, such as this one by JamesBond, Grant never responds?

          Come on, Grant. Put on your big boy pants. Don’t cherry-pick the easy comments. If you actually believe this damn stuff then DEFEND it. You look a touch cowardly.

            1. The parts of my comments that you responded to were easy, yes.

              The actual statistical analysis that has been provided you have shied away from like Chad Johnson going across the middle of the field.

              Quite frankly, it’s a little pathetic. JamesBond made a wonderful point. You avoid it, while instead cherry picking things to make snide remarks for. It’s like you don’t care, or you don’t believe what you’re saying, or you’re just rude. Neither of those things is good.

              1. Tied me up in knots? When, exactly? Unlike you, I have actually replied to everything you have said to me.

                Also, I have not employed any ad hom attacks. I have insulted how you are appearing, not how you are. I did not call you pathetic. I said that the way you’re handling yourself looks pathetic.

              2. “JamesBond made a wonderful point.”

                Which point did 007 make that you found wonderful?

              3. The point about how Grant loves using PFF to prove his opinion, yet conveniently ignores it when it suggests that Kap is superior to Smith.

                I don’t choose to enter into the Kap/Smith debate, even though I have a strong opinion. The point was that Grant uses certain info when it helps him, and turns a blind eye to it when it hurts him.

              4. Smith lost his RB at the beginning of his playoff game against the Colts, and Smith still led his offense to 44 points on the road against the Colts, who held Kaepernick to just 7 points at Candlestick.

              5. I love to use PFF too, but I’m not naive enough to think it is the end all, be all and that there isn’t some bias in their grading. I don’t think I’ve ever even looked at their QB grades.

              6. Really, Grant? That’s your analysis? One game by each time at vastly different points of the season? Not even addressing the point at hand . . . ?

              7. Jack Hammer – I completely agree that PFF is not the be all, end all. The point was merely that Grant uses it as the bible when it agrees with him, and completely ignores it when it doesn’t.

                He doesn’t even address points that go against him. Isn’t it standard in high school english class that, if you want to make a strong thesis, you have to first provide a counterpoint, so that you can defend against it?

              8. Jack – I’m not saying the PFF statistics are right. I’m saying that Grant often cites PFF, with none of his own analysis, to make a point. Then, when that point goes against him, he refuses to even acknowledge it. It’s very logically fallacious.

              9. Well you weren’t comprehending what I was saying, so I repeated it. Your points were irrelevant to what I was saying.

              10. Jack Hammer,

                “Grant didn’t need to respond to 007. I had already debunked most of his nonsense.”

                A reasonable person would disagree. Moreover, construing the clear majority view (which is supported by both statistics and the opinions of many experts from credible sources) as “nonsense” demonstrates your inability to accurately assess facts and context. I don’t know what you do for a living, but I hope it isn’t anything that relies on your judgment.

  20. Colin Kaepernick will get paid what the market is willing to pay for him… Perhaps a 49er discount if signed this year so he doesn’t have to play for a million this season with no long-term deal. Not what a blogger thinks what Colin should get when Colin should get it.

    Why all the negative press/hate regarding the Panda and Colin getting their due? Lol! They are face of their franchise-type players fans actually pay to see… Panda hats and Kaepernicking… A team marketing bonanza! Giants and 9ers are making beaucoup money off these key guys – without yet having to pay them their true market value (which is coming)! They’re just like “underpaid” college athletes! Lol.

    Just win? Well the Panda jacked 3 HRs off of Detroit and took out the most dominant starting pitcher in the game in Justin Verlander – which won the World Series! Performance? The Panda’s only hit .300 for his entire CAREER in a crap hitters ballpark! All I hear from the press is that he’s fat and he’s always injured! Lol! Even Buster Posey got hurt? So many players have gotten their big contract money – Posey, Pence, Lincecum, Cain, Bumgartner, Scutaro, Huff,…

    All I hear about Colin here is that he lost the Super Bowl… All he’s done is take his team to the Super Bowl mid-way through his first starting season (partial). And he took his team as far as the REAL Super Bowl (NFC Championship) in a close, tough loss. A potent threat to run for an explosive TD as well as throw for a touchdown – not since Steve Young, Michael Vick, or Randall Cunningham have I seen a guy dominate like this (Sorry Newton). With Crabtree out for most of the season, and even Vernon Davis for a spell- Colin’s had little to work with – Sorry, but Anquan is not a #1 receiver anymore. Colin’s doing just fine.

    Coach Harbaugh is building a RAPPORT with his players – making sure everyone knows that they should be paid. And paid very well. Trent’s job to figure it out.

    Coach Harbaugh is building a RAPPORT with his coaches – helping his Defensive Coordinator – get his just due. Trent’s job to figure it out.

    Coach Harbaugh is setting up this season to be the one where Jim’s agent can fill in the amount on the check Jed York will sign later on. York will be HAPPY to sign this one… Jed York has a billion dollar plus franchise – and he’s sweating out Jim Harbaugh for a few million dollars and busting his b*lls while he’s at it? Lol. York will be laughing all the way to the bank…

    Coach Harbaugh is an elite Coach. Turned around USD, Stanford, and the Singletary 49ers… And if York doesn’t pay him, he’ll turn around another NFL franchise around.

    I hope Jed York is as smart as his very smart Uncle.

      1. Tons more Harbaugh/Baalke/York drama should the 2014-2015 49ers NOT win the Super Bowl… Good for sportswriters and bloggers and fans to talk about though! Lol!

      2. MWNiner,

        Don’t you mean Eddie has Jed’s ear? As in, Jed listens to Eddie? That is, Jed would be listening with his own ear.

    1. Is that the same Uncle who fired Bill Walsh five times, and caused Walsh to resign four times? That’s according to Jed York of course.

  21. Everyone wants to compare Kaeps contract to The cutler and Stafford mistakes. It has never made sense to compare us to losers in order to determine what the best move for us ought be. What I do think is a good measuring stick for a fair contract is Alex Smiths. I don’t think anybody can say that he has been much better or worse than smith so in the 10 mil range seems legitimately fair. The Smith led 9ers had less weapons yet were equally as dominant a team. Smith also led the cheifs to the playoffs and a probowl , something I’m not so sure Kap could accomplish.. As it stands now they are both good QBs that get it done in different ways but Kap is not by any means the far superior qb and shouldn’t be paid like it.

  22. How nice. All of the links I posted that were awaiting moderation for absolutely no reason whatsoever have ‘ magically’ disappeared.

      1. MidWest ..

        When asked about “fixing” it ..
        Grant said he was gonna email the webmaster …

        So far .. we haven’t heard what the response was ..
        (if any) …

        I’m guessing we have a new webmaster in charge ..
        methinks he should be fired .. and the old guy
        should br brought back ..

        (and given a raise)

  23. Grant is spot on. Kaepernick is surrounded by great players. He’s good at running, average as a QB thus far. $18+ million for this guy is ridiculous.

    1. It’s not just whether that’s the right price. It’s that the alternative is start over with a rookie, and waste this championship window.

          1. Perhaps Harbs can join guys like Landry, Shula, Gibbs, and Fox and coach more than one quarterback in the Super Bowl.

        1. Those “avenues” involve decreased flexibility in managing their cap for Kap reasons. And those “avenues” can also effect the locker room as well as Kaepernick in very negative (for the 49ers) ways.

          1. Franchising a player should always be a last resort, as it isn’t a great solution for either party. But Kaep’s a big boy now, I’m sure he understands the business. They wouldn’t franchise him with an eye to having him play out the year under the franchise tag like they did with Goldson. But if necessary, they could.

            As for cap space, they are currently in a position where they should be able to fit Kaep’s franchise tender. It is only an issue for as long as it takes to get a deal done.

  24. I disagree with your logic. I bit my tongue when in one of your articles you used a scale of financial instruments to rate members of the 49ers and you had penny stocks higher than “junk” bonds. I’ll take a high yield debt security over a penny stock any day. However this time I think you need help with your understanding of finance.

    Karp and any other player should receive a new contract based on expected future performance. This is not just my opinion but basically what anyone who has taken an intro level finance course should be able to explain. You can argue about what expected future performance is but not with the fact that you pay for what you will get not what you have already gotten.

    Take the equity (stock) of a hot new technology company for instance. One that has generated no earnings let alone dividends yet because it is in it’s early stages. That equity will be valued (bought or sold) based on expected potential to return money to shareholders (ultimately pay dividends). This essentially what Kaepernack is. You always pay for what you will get not what you’ve gotten. I’m sure your not going to be in favor of paying a veteran who is well past their prime based on what they have already done. If you’re still not convinced I suggest you call your broker tomorrow and buy as much Kodak stock as you can.

    1. Outstanding! Great post. You said it better than I did. To some this would seem to be beyond obvious.
      Grant lacks experience. He works hard and has made strides through film study and quantitative analysis (stats). His associative process is a little too quick (2+2=5), and sometimes he extrapolates too far from a simple apparent truth, but he’s making progress in Football Savvy. He may need more work there than he suspects, but that’s my personal bias.
      I think part of his failing is a lack of Business Smarts. He could manage this blog site a lot better, and that’s not about his opinions on Sports, but managing the doggone blog. He has no clue about how to be in charge or how to get things done as a subordinate. For instance: ‘I’ll e-mail the appropriate people’, but then no curiosity, let alone Follow-Through on the problem. His Editors say ‘Clean up the languege’. He just deletes posts without saying anything. A person with the remotest clue would’ve initiated a post titled “Refocusing on the Rules of Engagement”, and then laid out the expectations. Nope. I bet he doesn’t walk the dog in the morning either; just let’s him out at 5:30am and let’s him bark from 6:00-7:00 to come back in.
      Grant shows no understanding of managing financial assets or contracts, let alone people.
      Our “Fantasy” here is that we’re GMs or Owenrs. If I’m assigned Owner, there are a lot of commenters to this blog that would be higher on my recruitment list than Grant.
      I hope that’s sufficiently polite statement of opinion.

      1. NY and BT,

        Well said.

        Grant,

        They speak the truth. You should do yourself a favor, listen and learn. It’s not a weakness to take good advice, it’s a strength.

      2. Charlie the mercury must be going straight to your head. But really you make me laugh. You should start your own blog. Show us all your business smarts and how to be “in charge”. Seems to me like you have none seeing as you offer up your opinion for free then ridicule those who get paid for theirs.

    2. This is indeed a very good argument – in particular the “you pay for what you will get not what you have already gotten” comment. However:

      - Future expectation is derived from a number of elements, not least of which is past performance. The greater the past performance, generally the lower risk attached to such an investment (unless the stock or asset is in decline – for players this is generally as a result of age or injury). From a financial point of view, lower risk translates to a lower required estimated return on investment for the stock or asset to be considered worth investing in. As a result, you are willing to pay more for it. Your new hot technology example is flawed for this very reason – you aren’t willing to pay the same market price as for a proven technology performer as the risk is far greater (which is exactly why and how you make so much money if it pays off).

      - Financial markets are not subject to a “cap”. This changes the dynamic of the market considerably.

      - Financial markets are far more prone to speculative buying, and also far more liquid. Prices can fluctuate and adjust to perceived value far more quickly, and if a stock is tanking you can more readily cut your losses.

      1. Yup. Giving Kaepernick the huge contract extension this offseason is giant risk any way you slice it. Why take a risk you don’t have to take?

            1. Atlanta is primed for a bounce-back year.

              I’d rather be the Falcons than the Browns, Jaguars, Raiders, Titans, Vikings, or any of the other teams that has tried to rebuild by drafting QBs.

              Also, obviously there’s a downside. There’s always a downside. It’s about risk:reward. Locking Kap up long-term – even for elite money – is good risk:reward.

              1. You listed a bunch of teams that are horrible and have no talent. Does not apply to 49ers. Come on, Brady.

              2. One player went down, and Atlanta fell apart. They have no depth and a bad defense. Fuhgettaboutem.

              3. I think we learned a new word this off season, you’re throwing it around more often then I can ever recall hearing(reading).

              4. It’s Harbaugh’s phrase. He loves to say Eric Reid isn’t a “mistake-repeater.” Harbaugh should hold his quarterback to the same standard.

              5. Okay, then how about the 49ers in 2010?

                You know why those teams are horrible? Because they haven’t been able to develop talent. You know why they haven’t been able to develop talent? Because they can’t get a QB.

                The Raiders have wasted a 1st overall, 3rd round, and 4th round pick on quarterbacks in the last 8 drafts. They will quite possibly waste a 1st rounder again this year, after already wasting a draft pick to acquire a washed up veteran.

                The Browns, in the last 10 drafts, have wasted first round picks on Brandon Weeden and Brady Quinn, third round picks on Colt McCoy and Charlie Frye, and a fourth round pick on Luke McCown.

                Do you know why the 49ers are so talented? Because, in between drafting Smith and Kaepernick, they wasted just one fifth-round pick on a quarterback. They used those extra picks to gain talent, and then used that talent to get more focused talent, through trades and compensatory draft picks.

                If the 49ers let Kap go, then they draft a QB. If they draft a QB in the first two rounds, history (2011-2013) says that they have a 15% chance of getting a very good QB (Andrew Luck, Cam Newton), a 38% chance of getting a good QB (Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, RG3, Ryan Tannehill), and a 54% chance of getting us a QB we cannot win a Super Bowl with anytime soon (Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith).

                So we have a miniscule chance of upgrading from Kaepernick.

                A poor chance of getting an adequate replacement who will be cheaper.

                And the best chance is that we draft a bust of a QB. If we draft a bust, we waste a high draft pick, then we wast at least one (and probably two or three) more before we find our great or even good QB. By that time Boldin’s contract has expired, Crabtree has signed elsewhere, Justin Smith and Frank Gore are in their dog days or retired, and Joe Staley, Patrick Willis, and Vernon Davis are all past their primes.

                On top of that, our secondary is still a weakness because we used high draft picks on a quarterback, instead of on defensive backs.

                And then we are exactly like the Raiders, Browns, and Jaguars. Listless, directionless, talentless.

              6. And no, this is not ad hom, and yes, I would like a response, please. Addressing what I said, please.

    3. Ok so if the NFL is structured just like Wall Street, then lets just mortgage the team so as to pay that QB bubble based heavily on futures. Oh and by the way we also learn from Wall Street that bubbles burst.

    4. I agree with NY and BT and if you look at the deals given out in the NFL, most are based on the team expecting more than they have seen. The Rodgers deal is a great example of that. He had started 7 games and got a huge extension for the time that was based on the Packers believing he would ascend to an elite level.

      It’s no different in this situation in SF. I also think the naysayers are severely undervaluing what Kap has accomplished here as well. He has shown he can lead a team to a SB and an NFCCG in a year and a half. That is more than enough to warrant confidence in giving him a new contract.

      Stats are overrated but since Grant likes to use them so much when they suit his opinion then we’ll use them when they don’t. According to passer rating and QBR, Kap was a top ten QB this year. That’s the facts. He has won 21 of 29 starts and has elevated his own play (see what I did there Grant) from a talented but raw second round QB, into a top ten caliber QB in 3 years.

      Let’s also not get ahead of ourselves on what the contract amount will be. Currently, the rumor is 18-20 mill, but let’s wait and see what it actually comes in at before deciding the team is destined for salary cap hell.

      1. A lot of QBs could finish in the top-10 in passing if they played for the most talented, deep team in the NFL.

        None of those stats mean anything if Kaepernick is a mistake-repeater, which he seems to be. He learned nothing from the end of the Super Bowl, and he routinely throws blindly on short passes to his left.

        More important to have a QB who doesn’t make mistakes that lose games than a QB who makes some exciting plays.

        1. The most talented deep team in the NFL, really? So a starting WR tandem of Anquan Boldin, and Kyle Williams was among the most talented in the NFL this year? It’s no coincidence that when Crabtree came back, Kap put together the best 5 game stretch of any QB in the league last year in terms of efficiency and production. Why bother to include that though right?

          He threw 8 picks all season. He is not a mistake repeater. He completed a number of passes to his left last year, but you fixate on a 3 or 4 where he got picked or almost got picked. You do know that your vantage point watching on TV is not his right Grant? Because you see Chancellor in the replay does not mean Kap did. He makes mistakes just like everybody else. You are cherry picking some to make a point is all.

          He’s won 21 of 29 games he’s started Grant. He doesn’t make mistakes that lose games very often and certainly no more than the top QB’s in this league do.

          1. Kaepernick makes the same mistakes, Rocket. The last throw in the Super Bowl and Sherman’s tip in the NFC Championship were virtually the same mistake. Hyde’s drop and Chancellor’s INT were the same mistake. Almost the exact same play at almost the exact same spot on the field.

            1. Grant,

              Those were the plays that were called. The pass to Crabtree in Seattle was on first down and would have been incomplete under most circumstances. It’s not a mistake other than the throw not being throw farther.

              Again you are pulling out two instances of a play that he probably completed 30 times over the course of a season. QB’s throw or almost throw picks regularly Grant. That is all QB’s, not just Kap. An instance where you believe he made the same mistake twice – which is unsubstantiated – is not a sign of repeating mistakes.

              1. Kaepernick made a bad, pre-determined read before each play and chucked up a prayer on each play. That’s not what a good or great QB does, especially when he has timeouts he can use.

                Kaepernick had a 60.1 rating last season on passes outside the numbers to the left between 0 and 9 yards from the line of scrimmage.

              2. You don’t pay $20 mil for a joystick QB who can’t think for himself. That’s not greatness.

              3. Have you ever listened to Joe Montana talk about Bill Walsh? About how Walsh would talk nonstop until the headset got cut off, telling Joe exactly what he should do? Two plays where you do what your coach asks does not make you a joystick QB.

              4. Brady,

                Quarterbacks didn’t have microphones from the coaches in the days of Montana and Walsh.

              5. Jack Hammer – good point. I meant to say talk to them. They would go to the sideline. Have you listened to Joe describe “the catch”? About how he stood on the sideline and Walsh talked about every possible factor and what he should do in any scenario, including putting it where it couldn’t be intercepted?

              6. Of course I have. That is what good coaches do for all of their players. He walked him through the entire play, and then Montana went out and executed it just as he had done a thousand times in practice.

                The difference is that Kaepernick failed in the execution.

              7. Jack Hammer – okay, we’re on the same page then. I agree that Kap failed to execute – all QBs do that quite often.

                Grant is saying that Kap’s failure was not in the execution, but in making the throw in the first place. Obviously Kap failed to execute; my point is that it wasn’t a mental failure that he made the throw in the first place, just a physical failure that he didn’t get it where it needed to be.

              8. I know what Grant is saying. I can read.

                I also think his take is valid. Kaepernick almost had a 2nd throw to his left picked off a drive or two later. The only difference is that the DB in the flat on that one was a few inches shorter than Chancellor.

              9. Jack – I am not saying that Kap played great. I’m not saying he didn’t make horrible throws. I am just contesting the notion that he failed by not overriding the plays that Harbaugh called.

                That is all I am saying. I don’t care about the interceptions he threw.

            2. A pass to the end-zone from the 28-yard line is not even remotely similar to a pass to the end-zone from the 5-yard line.

          2. Remember defense, Rocket?

            It’s not about how many mistakes, but the type of mistakes. He repeats the same mistakes, and they’ve costed the 49ers in the playoffs.

        2. Question: Why did Harbaugh draft Andrew Luck since he’d been a QB under Harbaugh @ Stanford? I know he had Kaep, but then they could have competed for the job.

      2. “According to passer rating and QBR, Kap was a top ten QB this year.”

        Yep, 2 spots behind Tony Romo. Kaepernick had a complete team around him, Romo didn’t.

            1. Yes actually sometimes they did. Romo chokes and throws picks to lose games more than Kap does.

              Romo has always been good statistically. He’s just not good when it matters. Kap is.

              1. “He’s just not good when it matters. Kap is.”

                Yes. Kaepernick was tremendous in the 4th quarter of the NFC Championship game and in the red zone on the last possession.

              2. Where does his fourth-quarter performance against the Seahawks rank in the history of fourth-quarter-NFC-Championship performances?

              3. Yeah, the offense lost it against Denver when the Cowboys’ defense didn’t force one punt. Good call, Rocket.

              4. How many NFCCG’s and SB’s has Romo had an opportunity to blow it in, oh none because he sucks so bad that he screws the pooch before they can even get to that point.

              5. Romo isn’t worth $20 million either. The Cowboys have no depth and he can’t carry that team.

              6. Grant,

                Again one example does not make a trend. Romo has been famous for throwing important games away. You know this.

                Jack,

                Kap had his team in position to beat the eventual SB Champions in their building. If you want to portray a tipped ball int. as a mistake/choke by the QB, that’s your prerogative, but it’s incorrect.

              7. The 2013 Cowboys were a better overall team then the 2005’06 Colts yet Peyton Manning was able to carry that weak team to the SB and win.

              8. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback. He’s worth the money. There are four quarterbacks worth that money — him, Rodgers, Brady and Brees. That’s it right now.

              9. Yep they were in position to win but didn’t. Close is only good in horseshoes.

                Kaepernick failed to correctly execute the play that was called.

              10. Although not the choke artis that Romo is I’m not convinced that Rogers can win on anything but a stacked team.

              11. Dont beat me up too much for that, I am admittedly not a Rogers fan so it’s a biased comment.

              12. Rodgers’ team wasn’t stacked when they won the Super Bowl? They had the second-best defensive DVOA in the league, and a plethora of receivers and TE’s!

              13. “no run defense?” they were 16th in run defense DVOA, meaning they were very average. That’s not horrible; that’s average. And it was more than made up for by their #1 pass defense DVOA.

                they had the SECOND-BEST defense in the league, yet you’re saying the team wasn’t stacked? Also, they had the 10th best rushing offense. Not great, but certainly not “no running game.”

                In summation:

                Packers, 2010:
                Rush O: 10th
                Rush D: 16th
                Pass D: 1st

                49ers, 2013:
                Rush O: 14th
                Rush D: 14th
                Pass D: 10th

                But of course, Rodgers was the one with the mediocre team, while Colin Kaepernick had the best team in the league handed to him on a silver platter…

              14. They gave up 4.7 yards per rush — 5th-worst in the NFL.
                They rushed for 3.8 yards per attempt — 8th-worst in the NFL.

              15. Is that a joke rocket? Um were you watching the Superbowl? Or the nfc championship? Did you think that was good? Wow this blog is full of clowns.

              16. Per-game rushing statistics are completely antiquated compared to DVOA. You know that, Grant. You’re only using them because they support your flawed argument.

  25. Ok let’s trade kap to Houston for their first, draft manziel, pay iupati, Aldon and by the time manziel needs to get paid, willis will be off the books. ……kap is garbage and Montana is the best!!!!! I’m tired of reading the same thing over and over.
    Grant, why are you laughing at harbaugh? He’s a lot better at his job than you are at yours. He was a lot better at his job at the same age as you are now. You need to give credit where credit is due. Had baalke drafted better in 2012, we’d have a super bowl for sure. Cheap labor with top quality. Add some luck with late picks(sherman) and you win. Pete Carroll got lucky. Jim harbaugh did not. That’s the difference. I wonder if you’d laugh at a press conference loud enough for Jim to hear you. Internet tough guys are a dime a dozen. …. lol <–laughing out loud.

    1. Big Niner,

      Sherman, Chancellor and Maxwell (fifth, fifth and sixth). Total luck out, not to be repeated.

      Don’t misunderstand, the Seahawks are a very good organization, but drafting those three players, with those picks, was a perfect storm of NFL drafting.

      Show me another team that drafted two All Pros with fifth round picks one year apart. I don’t think you can do it, because I don’t think it’s ever happened before and will likely never happen again.

      Not to mention Maxwell was drafted in the sixth round (yet another prayer pick), the same year as Sherman.

      1. Think about it. Not luck. It’s the physicality, good athletics, preferably guys with chips on their shoulders, something to prove. PC has a Win Forever philosophy, a strong foundation. Smart guys who can handle all the exotic schemes and blitzes that confuse other players. Watching tons of film and being prepared. Most importantly, making it fun, giving them freedom to be themselves.

    2. Pete Carroll did not get lucky. He’s followed many of these players while in high school & @ USC. He told Sherman years ago he should be a cornerback. Add to that John Schneider who fell in love with RussellW. It’s a gift. It’s knowing what you want and developing these kids in an environment they love and teaching them how to Win Forever. Harbaugh doesn’t know how to do that. He’s not lose and easygoing. Everyone has to toe the line. Sherman & Baldwin flourished when they found their way to the Seahawks. Not luck, Seahawks have been doing this since 2010.

    1. What the heck are you doing reading the Norwich NY local paper! That’s a small town paper in a city of about 10,000 people in upstate NY (absolute middle of nowhere) where I grew up. Very random!

      1. Google San Francisco 49ers. Click on the News link. Select the most recent news. Scroll through the latest news. BOOM.

  26. The market that’s driving the cost of quarterbacks through the roof is killing running backs.

    What will teams like the 49ers and Seahawks do to find a way to use all these bargain running backs? Do they have an advantage against defenses that gear up to stop pass first teams?

    If they avoid too many concussions, good quarterbacks can play into their late thirties and beyond, but runners like Frank Gore have used up their bodies by the time they reach thirty. Maybe we should be looking for a couple of fast fullbacks who can catch the ball down field. Roger Craig, where are you when we need you?

    1. He’s not a fullback but here is my mid round RB crush – Charles Sims. Pretty big and fast and (according to CBS) can beat CBs when split out wide and pass protect.

      1. I guess so. Well, time to come clean: my name is MidWestDynasty and I have a blogging problem. ….Is there any type of rehab for that?

  27. My memory is not so darn short that I remember a whole lot of those comments by many of you on this blog that were highly critical and some times quite heated about CK and the QB situation in general last year. We were so frustrated with his pocket presence and check downs and his slow learn rate of the NFL offense.

    Now you want to forget all of that and pay him the big bucks? Sorry this elephant still remembers last year; I am with Grant on this one.

  28. “And there is some concern about Kaepernick’s ability to fulfill his potential, especially under Harbaugh.”

    Sounds like you think Harbaugh is a bad coach. How do you explain the almost unprecedented success Harbaugh has had with nearly every QB he’s ever coached. He developed Josh Johnson into an NFL QB from San Diego. He developed Andrew Luck at Stanford. He turned Alex Smith from a bust to a competent NFL game manager. And he developed Kaepernick to the point where he’s taken the team to a Superbowl and an NFC Championship game. Kaepernick has had more success in the NFL than Andrew Luck.

    Not sure why you feel the need to take shots at Harbaugh. Sure the guy is unlikeable quite often but he’s a damn good NFL football coach. Perhaps you should separate your personal feelings from your professional writing.

  29. I’m not convinced that the Org will dole out 18 mil a year for Kaep, but they will work a contract that will appease both parties.

    Kaep fired the first salvo by using players such as Cutler and Stafford as a starting point on pay commensurate to his win/playoff/SB appearance record.
    It was a brilliant move by Kaep’ advisers because when compared to these QB’ who are being handsomely paid, they don’t hold up to CK’ resume.

    At the moment it is a travesty that Kaep is being paid less than Gabbert who will come to TC as the projected backup QB.
    I’m not a big numbers guy, but if the Org/CK start the season without a new contract it will be a sad reflection on the organization.

    According to reports the Org is already in the process of working out a deal that suits Kaep/49ers far into the future and I for one cheer their efforts.

    To me it’s all about wins and giving your team a chance to win it all once they get to the playoffs.
    CK7 has provided that, period!

  30. Wow, I have no disagreement at all with Grant on this. Colin was my favorite in college and I thought it was terrific the Niners drafted him. These days not so much. Regardless of who he plays for and for how much, I think it is less than 50-50 he ends up being a top QB int he league. There’s a bit of sissy in his game, in his body language and in his focus. If he can control that as well as his ego, he might be great. Otherwise he’s Mark Sanchez V.2…

  31. Although 1st Round QBs aren’t on SF’s radar, a thought on 2 recent Pro Days. Manziel had a better and more helpful outing than Bridgewater, and showed some improvement in his throwing motion. My guess is that both guys went to work with individual instructors to improve their mechanics and both were asked to tweak how they throw. Manziel took the coaching and made the change and dialed in his accuracy. Bridgewater, for whatever reason, hasn’t completed that transition yet, isn’t quite comfortable, and that hurt his accuracy. He had been pretty accurate on game tape. That can be fixed, and probably is mostly a matter of needing more reps.

  32. Let me ask you a simple question. Think before you answer because it is a trick question. Based on your logic, who would you pay more to right now: Frank Gore, who doesn’t have that long of a future, but certainly a glorious, heroic, past (one of the best ever to put on a 49er uniform) or Colin Kaepernick?

    1. No contest. Gore still shows the ability to help carry the team and Kaep hasn’t. Kaep also can’t block for himself. Gore has the money over years of quality work while Kaep is wanting top 10 pay off of 1 1/2 seasons of freakish plays mixed in with average QB numbers.

      1. Idk about Gore still having the ability to still carry the team..Unless i watched a different Nfc championship game than u did

  33. The reason CK is getting paid less than Gabbert has to do when they came out and in what slot they were drafted. It has nothing to do with their performances on the field, to date. That’s the way the draft and rookie contracts work with the new CBA.

    Also, those who are clammoring for more bucks for CK, including JH, have to realize that CK and his agent agreed to a contract with specific dollars and length of agreement. They could have negotiated for escalators or incentives if CK became a starter or if he achieved various milestones with performances on the field.

    JH and his agent also agreed to a contract as HC, including dollars and length of contract. Maybe he and his agent should have included escalators in dollar value or added years if he achieved so many wins or gained play-offs, etc. Not the 49ers fault that JH and/or his agent did not come up with those ideas.

  34. Oh come on Grant! Why the heck are the links I’m posting going into moderation?! This is getting beyond ridiculous!

  35. Grant,
    I agree Kaepernick’s earning potential is not Harbaugh’s concern, but neither is it YOUR business and you seem to have made it a personal crusade to make sure he gets what YOU think he deserves.
    Maybe you should do a poll on how much people think YOU are worth and how much you should get paid??? It might come as no surprise that some will think you are not worth it, or that the only reason they took you was because of your father. If we go by your performance, you predicted Dallas to go all the way if I recall correctly, how much should you get paid???
    Kap will get paid for what he adds to the team, for his potential, not necessarily for his performance.
    Just like you……………

    1. A team that had every reason to keep him and zero reasons financially to get rid of him and yet they still were willing to let him go with no compensation.

      No red flags there at all. Again, if we can get him on a one year incentive deal then great but beyond that let someone else find out why the Eagles were so eager to get rid of the guy.

        1. “Rather, sources close to Jackson and within the Eagles’ organization say, it’s Jackson’s off-field behavior that concerns the front office. A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly are the reasons, sources told NJ.com. And when the Eagles looked more deeply into why Jackson was missing meetings, they found that his friends were becoming a more powerful — and negative — influence in his life.

          Now the Eagles have even more serious concerns — Jackson’s continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members who have been connected to two homicides since 2010.”

          Wow, what a POS this guy is. Hopefully we’ll sign him to a big long contract that will totally cripple our ability to sign future free agents and then we’ll cut him after a year or two because he’s such a cancer to the team and we can continue to eat his big contract for more seasons. Awesome.

  36. The eagles just released desean jackson can you imagine boldin, crabs, and jackson. I know I’m dreaming but hey we can dream.

  37. It would appear no team wanted to pay Jackson $10M this year and give the Eagles a draft choice from any round.
    If the Niners sign him do they go to a three wide receiver set on most plays? If not then who comes out Crabtree or Boldin? I don’t see Jackson signing a contract to play part time. So unless the Niners are willing to move away from the power running game I doubt they will try to sign Jackson.

  38. Kaepernick’s first pick of last season was a short pass to the left. He didn’t see Walter Thurmond, who tipped the pass which was intended for Vernon Davis.

  39. LOL. I checked the Bleeding Green website for Eagles fans. The predominant sentiment in reaction to the Jackson release was: “f— Dallas!”

  40. Grant, you should write another article on how Baalke needs to acquire Desean Jackson…. You can never have enough LA crip gang members on the team!

  41. Come on Cohn…. its all apart of the business…. as an organization, you’re going to support your starting qb til the day he dies. york and harbaugh both said very positive comments but by saying ‘earning potential,’ he’s not going to the the huge huge bucks. at least the 49ers don’t think he deserves the huge huge bucks but we all know that he can possibly be that guy who does earn the big bucks. thats why we want to get a deal with him before the season starts.

  42. Grant did you even go to journalism class? You sound like dads brat child that he gave a blog to just to keep you quiet at work. Your dad can’t write anything insightful and you can’t either apparently.

  43. the NFL, like the market, doesnt pay for past performance, it pays for future expected performance (based largely but by no means entirely on past performance; to wit, what would you pay Steve Young now to be qb?). like the market, it can get these decisions right or wrong.

    Niner mgmt has to make a difficult assessment of Kaep’s likely trajectory amid a competitive market for his services. if the stock mkt is the right analogy, i’d take the over. society seems to select bulls over bears when it comes to these positions/decisions. lets just hope Baalke doesnt turn out to be ken lewis or fred goodwin ;-)

  44. Stafford got a boat load of money and he hasn’t won a playoff game ever and he’s got Megatron the best receiver in the nfl. Romo got $100 million for choking and one playoff victory in 10 seasons as a cowboy starter. Matt Ryan got a crap load of money and he only won one playoff game that he damn near lost at home. Meanwhile kap been to 2 championship games and 1 Super Bowl and has a winning playoff record as well as a winning road playoff record that even Montana and young didn’t have. He did that in 3 seasons but he doesn’t deserve to get paid right grant? Perfect logic on your part.

    1. And look where the Lions, Falcons and Cowboys are now. They have no depth. They fall apart when they have injuries.

      1. We’re not talking about depth we are talking about a players worth. And the reasons I just gave you are valid reasons why he should get paid so I don’t know where depth comes into play in this or your entire article.

        1. Kaepernick is not worth $20 million yet even if some teams would give him that money. Teams make mistakes all the time.

          1. 20 is a negotiating point. If that’s what he would get on the open market, then the Niners work down from there since he’s not on the open market. Jed was pretty clear when he said either a deal gets done or they wait until next season without animosity. Of all the various sins you have pinned on the 49ers front office, overpaying guys has yet to be one.

              1. Duh?? How many columns do you have to rip Kap for us to figure that out. My point is that the assumptions on what and extension will look like have been driven by one anonymous leak and LaCanforna (sp?) writing an article that doesn’t quote anyone on the record. Would you at least agree that every recent contract that the 49ers have given out has ended up being more team friendly than the standard X years for Y dollars makes it sound? Lots of observers initially thought Brooks’ deal was a little high, come to find out it has more down escalators than the DC subway system. Both Boldin’s and Bethea’s deals have portions of 2015 salary guaranteed for injury, but not for performance. Both deals also give the Niners until April 1 2015 to decide whether to fully guarantee those portions. Note that April 1 in conveniently after the free agent signing period. These are the kinds of contract details that the 49ers can negotiate into an extension with Kap that won’t be apparent when the annual average is reported, but can mitigate future impacts if Kap disappoints.

              2. No, Harbaugh has gone public, calling Kaepernick a top QB in the league, saying we all know the numbers of what his deal should be. The top QBs get about $20 mil. Harbaugh is acting like Kaepernick’s agent.

              3. Aren’t we supposed to take a drink when Harbaugh says something? Now you are taking him completely at his word regarding contract extensions? Where’s Jack to drag up the Whitner quotes?

              4. He even threw his own coaching staff under the bus to argue on behalf of Kaepernick’s mondo extension, said the plays weren’t good enough for Kaepernick, teams were blanketing Crabtree, Boldin and Davis. Why didn’t Harbaugh make those arguments for Smith? Smith got thrown under the bus.

              5. Wasn’t Alex caddying for Harbs that offseason? Then after the Manning non-evaluation evaluation Alex was always his guy? Harbs statements and the contracts handed out by MarBaalke are pretty much mutually exclusive. Unless you think Gore is in line for a two-year extension.

      2. Lions, Falcons, and Cowboys aren’t crippled by their QB’s contracts. They’re crippled by the obscene amounts of money they’ve given to mediocre position players and poor draft strategy. The way Miles Austin and Dallas’ secondary got paid. The amount of draft picks given up for Julio Jones. The fact that Detroit hasn’t been able to draft a decent player since Suh.

        Those are the reasons the Lions, Falcons, and Cowboys are struggling. Not because of their QBs.

        1. Don’t forget the salary cap penalty JJ got for ignoring the “collusion cap” in 2010. Actually its not really worth dropping too many facts here, they seem to get ignored in favor of more comment-worthy “reductive simplicity” (trademark Diego).

          1. Well said. Everytime I think “hey, I made a good point!” I check back to see that Grant has completely ignored it.

            1. And, to cut you off before you say it, Grant, that does not mean I don’t think the points I made that you responded to weren’t good. Because I know that was the petty remark you were headed towards.

  45. Grant,

    In Kaepernick’s first two seasons (really, a season and a half) he’s taken the Niners to the SB and NFC Championship game. Name another QB who’s done that his first two seasons. You probably can’t because I can’t think of one. There’s nobody who knows Kap better than Harbaugh. It’s widely accepted Harbaugh knows QB’s…a big reason for him working out with them, playing catch, getting to know what makes ‘em tick. IAW, he’s got qualifications. What’ve you got? Maybe you should look into another line of work…really.

  46. agree with the Kaep criticism in this article but in the nfl only players with average talent get paid big on merits when the play above their perceived talents, players with Kaep’s talent and potential will always get paid out of fear of looking stupid when he reaches his potential somewhere else

  47. You keep saying that Kaepernick is a mistake-repeater and I feel like that’s pretty reductive and simplistic. His limitations may hurt the team on occasion, but he also makes a ton of plays and scores touchdowns. He may be a mistake-repeater, but he’s also good enough to win playoff road games in ATL, GB, CAR and play about as good as a QB can against SEA on the road. To focus on the mistakes he’s made and declare that they have cost the team victories reduces an NFL game to single variable and that’s simplistic and fallacious.

  48. JH is like a used car salesman…..extoles the virtues of the product, and continues to kick the tires….CK doesn’t need Harbuagh to be his cheerleader for a new contract, he’ll get the big money contract when he EARNS the big money…..which he hasn’tt. Jim Harbaugh needs to let Baalke and Maranthe take of the $$, he needs to handle the football operations…..don’t try to sell the fans on CK, Jim, his play on Sunday’s is the only thing that’ll endear him to the fan base and media, not his offseason workout regimen, or your seemingly endless props.

  49. Colin Kaepernick….
    Coach Jim Harbaw…..

    until they bring home a Lombardi trophy,
    they both suck eggs.

    I am on their back until they win the big one.
    I am the Super Bowl monkey.

  50. I really like Latimer as a later round option. Blitzing his drills only makes him all the more appealing. I wonder if he’ll be there in round 5 now?

  51. MidWest ..

    posting more than one link at a time will send
    your post into {permanent} “moderation”

    (never to return again, apparently) ..but ..

    if you only posted one link (per post) then ..
    may I suggest Googling for something like …

    “Grant’s 49er Blog Anonymous”
    (or some such)

    You may get lucky !

  52. several, here, (myself included) have
    asked Grant about it
    (since he “emailed” the webmaster) .. and
    have been unsuccessful getting a response from him

    Dunno why he ignores us

  53. yes, Grant ..cookies are turned on …but ..
    we never had these problems with the old
    site format … ergo .. methinks the new
    webmaster seems to NOT know what he’s doing ..

    What about the problem of when you hit the “post”
    button … and then find out you have to type your
    name in again ?

    That has nothing to do with cookies !
    (or at least… it shouldn’t )

    or the problem(s) MidWest is having ?
    not about the cookies, either …

    I suspect the real “problem” is your webmaster
    doesn’t know how to make this site “work”
    like it did with the old format …

    (bring back the previous webmaster … we like him !)

  54. Exactly, none of us have changed browsers the only thing that has changed is that you are using a new theme for WordPress. Not only that but how has the feedback been so far on this new theme?

    Ever heard of if it aint broke, don’t try and fix it?

  55. Ah, well then that’s different. Maybe pass along to the decision maker that their decision hasn’t been appreciated by all. Although I get the feeling it doesn’t really matter.

  56. Grant it is funny your article says inside the 49ers but we all know you get no love from the niners and talk trash so people read your stuff. Rogers was not thrown into the fire like Kaep and who knows how he would have started off as a rookie.

  57. yet every personality test I’ve ever taken says Im an introvert. I guess if those tests were the least bit credible they’d have responses like : Yes, you are an a-hole, nobody will like you.

  58. Don’t worry, Coffee ..
    you are respected, here …

    (well … at least from this corner of the room) …

    and Grant …

    Thank you for the update

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