The San Francisco 49ers have already made some major changes this offseason, including hiring their new head coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers ranked dead last in the league in terms of scoring last season, and San Francisco's front office is clearly looking to improve their offense in 2016 in Kelly's fast-paced offensive system. While the 49ers have implemented their new coaching staff, they still have a major decision to make regarding the quarterback position.
Reports surfaced back in November that quarterback Colin Kaepernick was "virtually certain not to return in 2016," but the door may still be open to his return, as the 49ers quarterback "certainly is more than open to returning to San Francisco," according to NFL Reporter Ian Rapoport.
Kaepernick is rehabbing from procedures that he had on his thumb, left knee, and left shoulder, and his orthopedic surgeon has said that he is committed to being healthy and ready for next season, according to Rapoport. The 49ers quarterback struggled on the field in 2015, and only completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,615 yards with six touchdowns to five interceptions.
Kaepernick was benched for quarterback Blaine Gabbert mid-season last November, and the 49ers new coaching staff has been noncommittal about who will be the starter in 2016. The 49ers are expected to meet with Kaepernick's representatives this week in Indianapolis at the NFL combine, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
The 49ers quarterback is owed his full base salary of $11.9 million if he is still on the roster by April 1, and the 49ers have continued to say that the deadline is inconsequential, as they are just focused on him getting healthy. Many believe that Kaepernick could succeed in Kelly's offensive system, as he could help move their fast-paced offensive with his ability to take off with his feet.
It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds this offseason, and if Kaepernick generates any trade buzz at the combine. The 49ers quarterback reportedly is more than willing to give it another shot in San Francisco, but whether their front office will be willing to give him another chance is unknown and could depend on the offers they garner for the former second-round draft pick.