With everyone’s attention focused on the festivities going on around Santa Clara for Super Bowl 50, not many people were paying attention to the team that calls Levi Stadium home. On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers made news when it was reported that quarterback Colin Kaepernick wanted to be traded to the New York Jets. The news came somewhat out of left field as the team’s CEO Jed York recently stated that Kaepernick would be receiving a clean slate with the hiring of former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Nonetheless, it may not be that surprising.
Heading into his sixth NFL season, Kaepernick is coming off two consecutive poor seasons. After throwing a career high ten interceptions in 2014, Kaepernick returned in 2015 looking to rebound, but was unsuccessful and as a result, was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert. The benching didn’t go over so well and may have even created a rift between Colin and the 49ers’ brass. If this is the case, it’s easy to see why he would want out of San Francisco, even with the hiring of Kelly.
As for the Jets, they have quarterback problems of their own, the first being whether or not Ryan Fitzpatrick will be returning in 2016. After an off season injury to quarterback Geno Smith, Fitzpatrick stepped in and played admirably, almost leading New York to the playoffs before losing to the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. If the Jets are able to resign Fitzpatrick (he’s been endorsed by Brandon Marshall), they may not be interested in pursuing Kaepernick. That’s not the only issue though.
While Kaepernick may want to play for the Jets, he is still under contract with San Francisco and therefore the decision to move the embattled quarterback will be up to the team’s brass, and If recent statements and Kelly’s hiring is any indication, Kaepernick’s dream to play in the big apple is all but mute at this point.
The hiring of Chip Kelly may have moved Colin Kaepernick’s jersey off the clearance rack, but is it enough to convince the electrifying quarterback that San Francisco is the best place for him? Only time will tell.