Colin Kaepernick, by seemingly all accounts, does not want to be in San Francisco, despite the fact that Chip Kelly’s spread offense, one would think, should have Kaepernick salivating. If Kaepernick isn’t the most athletic quarterback in the NFL, he’s No. 2 behind Cam Newton. Either way, he has the rocket arm and gazelle-like stride to excel in Kelly’s system.
Only it seems he doesn’t want to.
Brandon Tierney’s response? Fine. If Kaepernick doesn’t want to be there, the 49ers should get rid of him.
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.
“You can only think that they were trying to trade him, and with his salary at that point in time, I’m sure he didn’t want (to be traded),” Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “If I’m him, I’m sitting there going, ‘Why would I go somewhere else? You are going to have to pay me. If I go somewhere else, I’m going to have to take half of it at least for another year until someone steps up to the table.’ And I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
“But I’m with you,” Montana continued. “If he doesn’t want to be there, you certainly don’t want that in your locker room. The person you want and need to talk to, especially offensively, is the quarterback. When things go wrong on the line, you have to (communicate) with the receivers, and if no one can trust you, it’s hard for anybody to step up and even try to regain that again.”
The 49ers could release Kaepernick, but his $11.9 million base salary this season is fully guaranteed. That’s great for Kaepernick, not so great for San Francisco.
Montana can’t fathom a player in his day causing drama with a guaranteed contract, especially one this lucrative.
“As soon as you start entitling guys, you run into problems with them,” Montana said. “That’s (with) not just the 49ers, (but) the whole league. That’s what starts to happen. These guys are making a heck of a lot more money. We never had guaranteed contracts. So you really couldn’t be like that because they’d get rid of you in a heartbeat. Now if they get rid of you, they got to pay you $20 or $30 million to go out the door. So I think that changes the dynamics a little bit. I love the guaranteed contracts for the guys. I wish we would have had the same type of thing, but in a way, it does change it, especially at the numbers they’re talking about.”
So what’s exactly wrong with the 49ers?
“When things are going well, they say it starts at the top,” said Montana. “Well, if it goes wrong, it starts up there too. I can’t just blame it all on the players. I think there’s differences up there in the front office.”
Switching gears a bit, Montana, considered by many – including Tiki and Tierney – to be the greatest quarterback of all time, was asked who is behind him at No. 2. If you’re like most listeners, you probably expected Montana to say Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
He didn’t. Instead, he threw out Sammy Baugh and Otto Graham.
Baugh played for the Redskins from 1937-1952, while Graham played for the Browns from 1946-1955.
“You didn’t see them, but go back and watch the video of them,” Montana said. “They were so far ahead of their time back then, I didn’t realize it. I was up for an award with Otto Graham and I came out the door the same time he came out his door. My wife was with me and he said, ‘Oh, shoot.’ He forgot something and went back in the door. She said, ‘Who’s that? He said hi and I was about to introduce her, and she goes, ‘Well, who was that?’ (I said), ‘That’s the guy who’s going to win tonight.’ And he did.
“It’s just amazing how much the game has changed,” Montana continued. “I think it’s really hard to even compare guys that played when I played to guys that play now. I don’t want to say it’s 7-on-7, but the feeling for the quarterback is different. If you’re right there and I’m letting the ball go, I know that you’re still going to hit me. That’s the difference. That was a big separator. Now that isn’t there anywhere near as much. I can’t imagine guys like Dan Marino playing in an era where he knew he wasn’t going to get hit.”