Colin Kaepernick’s future last week was a football problem the San Francisco 49ers had to deal with. That has changed dramatically as today it is far more difficult.
The protest by the quarterback during the national anthem has put the 49ers at a difficult crossroads.
Now San Francisco must choose what direction it takes with the quarterback in less than a week and the result will not be appealing regardless if Kaepernick is kept or not.
Across the league, Kaepernick’s protest received both condemnation and support, but the stance on the career of the QB is less debatable. His importance to the 49ers has slipped and this was noticed by the team a long time prior to his protest during last Thursday’s national anthem.
Two team sources have said to Internet sports outlets that Kaepernick has not made the progress in the new offense of coach Chip Kelly that the team had hoped he would.
While there was nothing clear as to whether he would be cut or not the optimism that the offense would successfully reinvigorate the career of Kaepernick was in serious doubt.
Had his playing football been the sole factor, the thought of him being released by the 49ers was problematic in itself. It would have come following an offseason in which the 49ers had factors that could motivate the cutting of ties with the QB on two occasions.
However, rather than ending their relationship with him, the team kept the quarterback hoping that the offense Kelly has would resurrect the player who helped lead the team to the 2013 Super Bowl.
All this came despite a demand by Kaepernick to be traded during the offseason and a team that had seemingly already taken in Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback.
It seemed Kaepernick would almost be guaranteed a spot on the roster after keeping him during the offseason. However, sources have said that his progress during the summer frustrated coaches since he was limited due to the nagging injuries that have plagued him for the past year.
He missed rigorous portions of the program Kelly installed during the offseason and since has not been able to gain any traction to challenge Gabbert as the starting quarterback.
As preseason became closer to ending, that reality became even more complicated with the protest Kaepernick carried last Thursday when he refused to stand for the national anthem.
The 49ers organization is now is now facing what many would call a no-win situation.