The NFL is one tough league and to win you need a quarterback. The San Francisco 49ers know that and they know they already have a prime quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. Or at least a quarterback that could be one of the best in the NFL. Kaepernick has taken the 49ers to a pair of NFC Championships and one Super Bowl although the ring eluded them. Too bad. Had the 49ers won that Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick may have already signed a big contract.
As usual in the NFL, the 49ers are faced with deciding just how much Kaepernick is worth. Reports are out that the quarterback and the franchise are working things out right now and Kaepernick wants elite money. Who doesn’t? The real question is how much value the San Francisco 49ers place on their quarterback.
No doubt they like him. But when an NFL TEAM wins, how do you break down success into percentages? How many wins can you attribute to the presence of one guy? Isn’t this a team game? Where’s the separation and could the 49ers have been just as competitive with someone else under center?
For instance, let’s talk defense. There are NFL quarterbacks out there who would kill to have the defense the 49ers have fielded in the last few years. That defense produced opportunities for Kaepernick. They carried him, he didn’t carry them, in my opinion. Yes, he did some great things but he also had some lackluster games as well.
Is Kaepernick worth the $18 to $20 million reports say he is seeking? Phew! That’s a boatload of money for a guy who doesn’t have five years or so of elite production under his belt. And if San Francisco signs him to a deal like that how do they pay those defensive guys who really, really, make up the personality of the 49ers? They don’t. All the eggs are in one basket.
In my mind, and there are people who will criticize me for this, I think the huge deals given to quarterbacks eventually end up crippling the team. Kaepernick is worth $10 to $12 million. Anything else is just ransoming the future. Sorry Kap. The fans who buy 49ers tickets want a complete team, need a complete team, and a mega-contract will keep them from getting it.Eric Drouant