San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's agents have requested permission from the organization to seek a trade, according to NFL reporter Rand Getlin. The report came just after 49ers head coach Chip Kelly made comments about him returning to San Francisco next season.
"He wants to be here," Kelly said at the NFL combine, via ESPN. "He's never expressed to me that he didn't want to be here. He expressed to me that he's excited about getting healthy and getting going. And we're excited about him getting healthy and getting going."
The 49ers quarterback was benched midseason after poor play and is recovering from three surgeries this offseason. Kaepernick's $11.9 million base salary becomes guaranteed on April 1, and in order for him to seek a trade and not lose his guaranteed money, he needs written permission from the organization, according to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport.
The 49ers traded quarterback Alex Smith three years ago to the Kansas City Chiefs for two second-round picks, and multiple teams are expected to have interest in Kaepernick this offseason, according to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. Reports surfaced earlier this week that Kaepernick was "more than open" to returning to San Francisco, and it's unclear exactly what will happen with the former second round pick this offseason.
Kaepernick brings a dual threat to any offensive system, but he has struggled to stay consistent with his passing game throughout his career. The 49ers quarterback threw six touchdowns to five interceptions through nine games last season, and there is no guarantee that he will even be a starter in the league next season.
Kaepernick has shown that he can produce in the league and even helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl during the 2012 season. It's unknown if any team will make a strong enough offer for San Francisco to trade him, but the 49ers front office may look to build their future with a new quarterback, as the organization is becoming the center of attention, and not for their play on the field.