It's no surprise, then, that Kaepernick wants to get paid as a franchise quarterback on par with the monster contracts signed by Cutler and Romo in the past calendar year.
Kaepernick is seeking more than the $18.2 million annually that Cutler received in early January, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
If the 49ers aren't willing to meet Kaepernick's asking price, he hasn't ruled out playing the 2014 season on his salary of $973,766 and cashing in as a free agent next offseason.
Why would he attack these negotiations any differently?
That $18 million to $19 million request might sound unreasonable for a relatively inexperienced quarterback, but it's the price of doing business in today's NFL.
The 49ers can argue that Kaepernick's accuracy rating of 54.6 percent under pressure last season was the worst mark in the NFL. Kaepernick can counter with his 21-8 record as a starter, including a few transcendent performances in the postseason.
The bottom line is Kaepernick will get his asking price from San Francisco or another team next year if the 49ers' brass continues to balk this offseason.
The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" works through our top 101 free agents and responds to some heat from Donte Whitner.