49ers Mailbag: What's Kaepernick's future?

49ers Mailbag: What's Kaepernick's future?

The 49ers on Friday traveled to South Florida for the beginning of an extended road trip.

After Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers will spend the week training in Orlando before continuing on to Chicago for next week’s game.

The 49ers are 1-9, and are looking to snap a franchise-tying nine-game losing streak. Thanks to some of our friends on Facebook for submitting questions for this edition of 49ers Mailbag.

What is Kaepernick's future after the 2016 NFL season?‬ (Matthew Beadle)

There are so many moving parts that it’s impossible to predict where Colin Kaepernick will be next season.

First off, Kaepernick and the 49ers negotiated a contract restructure in which the deal he signed in 2014 that runs through the 2020 season no longer exists.

Kaepernick can opt out of the final year of his contract after this season. As always, the 49ers can release him if they feel he is not worth the $14.9 million he is scheduled to make next season.

The 49ers granted Kaepernick permission to seek a trade last offseason. The 49ers and Denver Broncos worked out a trade that was contingent on Kaepernick and the Broncos agreeing on a new contract. They could not get the deal done, so Kaepernick remained with the 49ers.

What is not known is what kind of market there will be for Kaepernick. His football is one consideration. As a player, there is a place for Kaepernick in the league -- as a starter or backup, for sure. But, now, organizations must also consider everything else that Kaepernick brings to an organization. Some organizations will not be interested.

Kaepernick would likely opt out of his contract early. In any case, the 49ers will have plenty of time before the draft to try to sign another veteran quarterback or work a trade. Also, we do not even know who will be in the position to make those decisions for the 49ers in the offseason.

Kaepernick left the door open for a possible return when asked about what there is to gain for the 49ers in the final six games of the season.

“There is that feeling out there that we’re not going to be in the playoffs,” Kaepernick said, “but we still have an opportunity to do some good things and build on for next year.”

His return might seem unlikely, but it will depend on what options he has on the open market and who is available for the 49ers at quarterback in the offseason.

Is Hyde a real future option at RB. In each of his first 3 seasons in the league he hasn't made it 16 games.‬ (David Hartless)

Of course, Carlos Hyde is an option for the future.

He is signed through the 2017 season. Hyde is 26 years old, and he is the best running back on the 49ers’ roster. But that does not mean the 49ers should not look to add more depth at the position.

Hyde has been OK, not great. In three seasons, his average is 3.9 yards per carry. He has been banged up, which everyone thought might be an issue due to his running style.

Hyde will be eligible to sign a contract extension after this season. While the 49ers would not be expected to sign him to a top-dollar contract, it seems likely the organization will see if it’s possible to add a couple of years to his current deal.

When are the Niners going to let Marcus Rush play? (Nathan Lane)

Outside linebacker Marcus Rush recorded six sacks in the 49ers’ four exhibition games. He was among the team’s final cuts, and no team claimed him off waivers. So Rush has spent the entire season on the 49ers’ practice squad.

After those cuts, 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil predicted Rush would find his way onto a 53-man roster – with the 49ers or another team – before the end of the season.

That has not occurred, yet. Rush still is working in practice on the scout team.

“He does a great job in practice every day,” O’Neil said. “He usually mimics the team’s best defensive end or pass rusher and he gives our offensive guys a great look.”

The 49ers rank 28th in the league in sacks per pass play. Ahmad Brooks leads the team with 3.5 sacks. The 49ers’ other outside linebackers – Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold and Tank Carradine -- have combined for just two sacks.

Clearly, the 49ers believe Rush is not among the team’s top pass-rushers and his success in the exhibition season was, at least in part, a product of the competition he faced.

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.