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Report: Kaepernick won’t be cleared for minicamp

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Mike Florio thinks that the lack of clearance to practice is a tactic that 49ers are using to split with Colin Kaepernick.

As the 49ers prepare to put a bow on the first Chip Kelly offseason with a mandatory minicamp, they’ll be proceeding without quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Kaepernick has not yet been cleared to participate in football activities.

It was believed that Kaepernick would be cleared before the end of May following a trio of offseason surgeries. It’s unclear why that hasn’t happened yet. And it’s hard not to wonder whether both team and player have agreed that Kaepernick will be kept off the field through the end of the offseason program as part of the sputtered effort to trade him.

Kaepernick’s agents made it clear in February that he wants out. Kaepernick had a chance to leave, but the Broncos wanted him to give up too much of his $11.9 million base salary for 2016. If the 49ers don’t plan to use him in 2016, they may be inclined to keep him in bubble wrap pending a phone call from another team that is willing to trade for him -- and to pay his full salary (or something close to it) for the coming season.

Some also believe there’s a chance that the 49ers may cut Kaepernick before training camp. While they’d still be on the hook for the difference between what he earns elsewhere and $11.9 million, the 49ers will pay the full $11.9 million if he’s sitting on the bench -- or, even worse, if he lands on injured reserve after a fluke injury during practice.

Regardless of what’s truly happening behind the scenes, it remains to early to assume that he’ll be fully embraced by the 49ers. Unless and until he’s cleared to practice, and does indeed practice as a full participant with the 49ers and not in a limited capacity, there’s a chance that Kaepernick never will again.