Colin Kaepernick – after accounting for just seven touchdowns in nine games and getting benched for Blaine Gabbert this season – reportedly wants out in San Francisco.
It’s crazy. Just a few years ago, Kaepernick came within one play of winning a Super Bowl and being named Super Bowl MVP. Now, at 28, he’s a fringe NFL starter.
Can Kaepernick still be the guy in San Francisco or elsewhere?
“I thought with the signing of Chip Kelly, I thought that would really rejuvenate him,” Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Chip Kelly didn’t have the quarterback in Philadelphia. They weren’t (a) threat (to run) the football. But now you got a quarterback with Colin Kaepernick that can be that threat. Accuracy and stuff like that is still a work in progress. I don’t know if he wants to go or if he wants to stay, but he needs to go back to being like Cam Newton. When he was running the football and he was that threat, I think it really opened up everything else that he could do on the football field.”
Kaepernick, of course, has the ability to be a dangerous runner. In 2012-13, he ran for nine touchdowns in 29 games. In 2014-15, however, he ran for just two in 25 games. The 49ers need him to use his legs to be successful.
That can’t happen if Kaepernick bolts the Bay Area.
Do fans there still believe in him?
“That’s a good question,” Rice said. “I really don’t know. I really don’t know. I don’t know if the majority wants him to go or if they want him to stay. With Jim Harbaugh leaving, I think that’s a big shock for the fans of San Francisco because we had everything clicking at that time. Then (Jim) Tomsula came on and everything sort of went downhill just a little bit. But I don’t know if Kap wants to stay. If he wants to stay and if they can somehow rejuvenate this offense and get it going, maybe he can be productive again.”