Kaepernick is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract, signed after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He is due to earn nearly $974,000 in the upcoming season. That's a remarkable bargain in an NFL climate in which elite quarterbacks can earn $20 million annually.
The question is where Kaepernick's value lies. He was a revelation for the 49ers in 2012, taking over for an injured Alex Smith and lifting the Niners to their first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years.
Kaepernick was less consistent in his first full season as a starter, however, offering a collection of electric and uneven performances in 2013. He committed three turnovers in the fourth quarter of a NFC Championship Game loss to the Seattle Seahawks, including the game-sealing interception in the final minute.
Still, Kaepernick is a remarkably gifted athlete who can shred defenses with both his legs and powerful right arm. His upside remains immense, and the Niners know it. Consider it a Tyson-in-Tokyo upset if Kaepernick ever reached the open market.