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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

John Lynch: 49ers planned to cut Colin Kaepernick regardless of opt-out

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, but he was on his way out of the Bay Area either way this offseason.

49ers general manager John Lynch told PFT Live on Wednesday that had he not opted out, Kaepernick would have been cut anyway.

“Yes, and we had that conversation with him,” Lynch said, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “So I don’t want to characterize it as he made a decision to leave here. We both sat down and under that current construct of his deal, it was a big number. [Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] had a vision for what he wanted to do, and one thing I think Kyle was very clear and I think Colin appreciated, is that Kyle has an idea of how he’d play with Colin Kaepernick. But he preferred to run the exact offense that he ran in Atlanta last year that was record-breaking in this league. And if you change it for the quarterback, you change it for everybody on that offense. So he had a great discussion that I think gave Colin clarity, so we moved on.

“I think we’ve been very up front with it. But I think that is a fair characterization. Yes, he was not going to be here under the construct of his contract. We gave him the option, ‘You can opt out, we can release you, whatever.’ And he chose to opt out, but that was just a formality.”

There was some criticism after Kaepernick opted out, saying he should have stayed and taken a backup role given the difficulties he’s had finding a new team. It appears that he didn’t have a choice either way.

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