SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s contract situation with the 49ers remains unresolved as he approaches his first start in nearly a year.
Kaepernick confirmed on Tuesday the sides have talked about a restructured contract. Earlier in the day, coach Chip Kelly informed him that he would start Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
“We have had conversations,” Kaepernick said. “I really don’t want to get into details about that. But those conversations have gone on.”
Sources told CSNBayArea.com there has been no new developments with Kaepernick's contract status. On Tuesday, he confirmed, "We're still in discussions."
Under terms of the six-year, $115 million extension Kaepernick and the 49ers executed in June of 2014, he is under contract through the 2020 season. His entire $14.5 million salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed for injury if he remains on the roster on April 1, 2017.
The 49ers would like to remove the risk of Kaepernick sustaining an injury that would guarantee that money for next season. In return, if Kaepernick agrees to the restructured deal, he would become an unrestricted free agent in March. Also, the remaining $1.375 million he could earn in per-game roster bonuses this season would become fully guaranteed.
When asked if he believes the financial risk kept him off the field for the first five games of the season, Kaepernick answered, “I really don’t know. You’d have to ask the people upstairs about that. My biggest thing is focusing on football and trying to do what I can to help this team win.”
Kaepernick said he feels “no pressure” to sign the new deal before Sunday’s game.
On Tuesday, Kelly announced his decision to bench Blaine Gabbert, who started the 49ers’ first five games. Kaepernick’s last start was Nov. 1 against the Rams before Gabbert was elevated to the starting role.
“Had a brief conversation before we got going to practice,” Kaepernick said of his discussion of Kelly. “He told me I was up this week. Excited about it. Ready to go. Hoping I can bring more to this team and try to get us a win this Sunday.”