During this past Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers fans were chanting 'We want Kaep!' in a call for backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be put in the game as once again starter Blaine Gabbert failed to win and perform on the field.
Yet, since the beginning of the season, head coach Chip Kelly had stressed the reason why Kaepernick wasn't started ahead of Gabbert was because he was underweight due to his injuries in the offseason.
However, the real reason as to why he has not been giving the starting job yet may have been revealed in the recent reports of his restructured contract talks.
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According to NFL.com, the restructured contract would 'alleviate concerns regarding injury guarantees in the quarterback's current deal.' The contract as well would also include an option to void the deal after this season.
The report also says: "The restructured pact would potentially eliminate roughly $17 million in injury guarantees for 2017 and could dissolve the final three years of a six-year deal that currently keeps him under contract through 2020."
It also states the new deal would: "eliminate the risk of the 49ers having to pay out guarantees Kaepernick if he gets hurt this season and would allow Kaepernick a chance to potentially test the free-agent market," meaning the financial burden on the team would be reduced if he was to injure himself once more. It also gives the 28-year-old more control over his career.
It benefits both parties, as Kaepernick can move on freely next season if he pleases, and the 49ers won't have to pay him if he gets injured. With Gabbert playing as bad as he is, he might get a chance to prove himself soon. Yet, some reports have also suggested Christian Ponder could get a chance to play as he has some support in the locker room as well.
Kaepernick will likely become the starter soon because he is a better player than both other quarterbacks, but that might not happen until he accepts this new restructured contract, and at least if he does, he will have more control over his future if he decides San Francisco isn't the place for him after all.