Today, the headlines read that Colin Kaepernick wants big money from the San Francisco 49ers. He reportedly thinks he is worth more than $18 million a year. Bad moves from other organizations give Kaepernick an advantage in this situation — like the Chicago Bears, who inked Jay Cutler for $18.2 million annually back in January.
In my opinion, neither quarterback is worth the money. They may not even be worth half of that large sum, especially since neither player has won a Super Bowl. Kaepernick has more upside than Cutler does at this point of their careers. I do not believe that he can bring a championship to the city of San Francisco, especially with so much turmoil between head coach Jim Harbaugh and ownership.
Kaepernick has looked very mediocre at times, but he has also managed to string together some great stretches of football. Through the first three games of the 2013 NFL season, he threw for a shaky four interceptions and three touchdowns. Things fell in place afterwards, as he led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game where he would ultimately be outdone by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The playoffs would be a dose of reality for the young QB as he finished with the unimpressive stat-line of three touchdowns, three interceptions and six sacks.
Kaepernick could eventually become an elite quarterback, but he just is not that good right now. It will take more than a few more years before we know just how good — or how bad — he will turn out to be. Championships do not determine a player’s worth in all cases, but his numbers do not mirror those of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. He will have to become a better pocket passer, although his ability to run does raise his value a bit.
Kaepernick finished the 2013 season with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but he completed under 60-percent of his passes. He also completed an abysmal 54.6-percent of his passes under pressure — the worst in the league. Those numbers obviously do not scream elite and do not deserve an $18 million price tag. Kaepernick is out of his mind for throwing such huge figures out there.
Kaepernick may be underpaid as he is looking to bring in under a million dollars in 2014. If the 49ers do not want to pay him the $18 million, then he could hit free agency after next season. It will be something the entire football world will be keeping an eye on. It will all come down to whether Kaepernick can prove that he deserves to earn elite quarterback money by proving he can take over games and win in the playoffs. Personally, I believe that he is in over his head. His demands could eventually blow up in his face, ending in an early departure from the 49ers and the city of San Francisco.