SANTA CLARA – Unable to reach a contract agreement with quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the past seven weeks that would have facilitated a trade, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway closed the door Thursday night on a possible deal with the 49ers.
The Broncos traded up five spots in a swap with the Seattle Seahawks to select Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the No. 26 overall selection.
Shortly thereafter, Elway said the Broncos are no longer interested in working out a deal to acquire Kaepernick.
“Yeah, we’re probably over with Kaepernick,” Elway told Denver’s media following the pick. “We’re thrilled to be able to get Paxton and have Mark (Sanchez) in here with his experience and the way he’s going to come in and compete for that job with Paxton and Trevor (Siemian).”
The 49ers granted Kaepernick’s agents, Scott Smith and Jason Bernstein, permission to seek a trade. But they were unable to reach an agreement with the Broncos, long considered Kaepernick’s most likely landing spot after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler signed with the Houston Texans as a free agent.
Elway told Peter King of The MMQB that he believed the Broncos would be able to work out a deal with Kaepernick's agents.
"With Colin, I thought we were really close," Elway said. "That one surprised me a little."
Now, it appears Kaepernick is going nowhere and he will compete with Blaine Gabbert for the 49ers’ starting job to enter the regular season.
“The media’s made a lot of speculation and things, but, I think since the combine, we’ve stated the same thing,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “The coaching staff is excited and we’re excited. We’ve got two guys that we feel – we’ve got four quarterbacks on the roster. They’re all going to get a chance to compete.”
The 49ers have nine remaining draft picks – their next selection is in the third round, No. 68 overall – and the 49ers did not rule out the possibility of drafting a quarterback.
“We’ll see,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said. “You’ve got another day (Friday) and another day on Saturday to see what’s available out there. I’ve said since Day 1, I’m extremely comfortable with those guys if that’s what we have going forward. I’m excited about it.”
Sources have told CSNBayArea.com that Kelly and Kaepernick have gotten along well in their short time together. Kaepernick is not cleared for football activity after undergoing surgeries on his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee. Kaepernick has taken part in all the team meetings since the beginning of the 49ers’ offseason program on April 4.
Kaepernick was seen on the practice field Thursday shadowing the movements of the other quarterbacks during drills while Blaine Gabbert, Thad Lewis and Dylan Thompson handled the repetitions at quarterback.
“My conversations with Kap is that I understand that the NFL is a business and you have an agent and there’s things you take care of,” Kelly said. “The one thing I’ve told him and I think he can tell you has happened is that, ‘If you’re here on April 4th, and I really want you here on April 4th, we’re just going to coach the heck out of you.
“And he’s been outstanding since he’s been here on April 4th. He’s worked as hard as anybody on this team at his rehab. He’s been great in every single meeting we’ve had. He’s been at every single training session we’ve had. So I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about Kap, and I’m excited about him. I think he’s a heck of a football player.”
Kaepernick has a fully guaranteed base salary of $11.9 million this season. He is also on pace to earn a $400,000 workout bonus for taking part in at least 90 percent of the team’s voluntary offseason program. Kaepernick can make an additional $2 million in per-game roster bonuses during the regular season.
Kaepernick’s scheduled pay for the 2017 season jumps from a total of $14.3 million this year to $16.9 million. Kaepernick’s scheduled $14.5 million base pay for 2017 is guaranteed for injury only and becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the 49ers’ roster on April 1, 2017.
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49ERS 2016 DRAFT PICKS
1. First round: Own pick, No. 7 overall
DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
2. First round: From Kansas City, No. 28 overall
OG Joshua Garnett, Stanford
3. Third round: Own pick, No. 68 overall
4. Fourth round: Compensatory, No. 133 overall
5. Fifth round: Own pick, No. 142 overall
6. Fifth round: From San Diego, No. 145 overall
7. Fifth round: Compensatory, No. 174 overall
8. Sixth round: From Denver, No. 207 overall
9. Sixth round: Compensatory, No. 211 overall
10. Sixth round: Compensatory, No. 213 overall
11. Seventh round: From Kansas City, No. 249 overall
--From Kansas City on the first day of the 2016 draft, 49ers acquired No. 28 and No. 249 in exchange for No. 37 (second round), No. 105 (fourth round) and No. 178 (sixth round)
--From San Diego, acquired in 2015 draft trade-back
--From Denver, acquired in trade for TE Vernon Davis
--This is the final year in which compensatory picks are not allowed to be traded