Over the next three years, Kaepernick is set to earn $44.17 million -- sixth among NFL quarterbacks.
NFL contracts are tricky because there are so many contingencies, clauses, bonuses and de-escalators. Since we have found that the easiest comparison tool is that three-year window, let's take a look at other quarterbacks in line for new contracts -- and what they might be expected to earn over three years.
Under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, Luck and Wilson are not even eligible for new contracts until next offseason. I believe Luck has the highest ceiling of any young quarterback in the league. And I think most executives, coaches and scouts share that sentiment. Wilson might not be as physically gifted, but he does bring the heft of a Super Bowl ring to the table.
Those two quarterbacks are expected to flirt with Aaron Rodgers' annual average of $24 million-$25 million once their extensions are inked. Their three-year window will likely settle into the $60 million range, near the highest-paid players in the league. Newton won't be far behind.
The Chiefs and Bengals are at a loggerheads in negotiations because there is no second-tier quarterback market. Smith and Dalton are simply not tasked to do as much as the high-end signal-callers. Coaches can't run an intricate pass-heavy attack if their quarterbacks have game-manager skill sets.
Kansas City is prepared to wield the franchise tag next offseason if Smith doesn't lower his asking price. Cincinnati appears to be in a similar quagmire with Dalton.
The guess here is that both players will come in below the $40 million mark for the first three years of their next contract. If they hold out for more, they might find that the Chiefs and Bengals are willing to let them test their value on the open market in the 2016 offseason.
Here are seven more takeaways from Thursday's OTAs:
2. The Seattle Seahawks continue to morph into the NFL's version of the unconventional, innovative San Antonio Spurs. Just as the Spurs rest their stars throughout the season to prepare for the playoffs, the Seahawks plan to lighten Marshawn Lynch's regular-season load in a committee attack. Brace yourself for an endless string of Christine Michael highlight clips this season.
3. Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, one of Around The League's top Making the Leap candidates, admitted that he hid a concussion previous to the one that ended his season and lingered into the offseason. Entering his second NFL season, Reed is already on concussion No. 4 going back to his college days.
4. Steve Smith told SI.com's Don Banks that he had decided to retire after the coming season prior to his release from the Panthers. Now that he's rejuvenated in Baltimore, Smith plans to play out his three-year contract with the Ravens. If it boosts his Hall of Fame chances, I'm on board.
5. Tom Brady recently joked about building a couple of hotels on Revis Island during spring and summer practices. Instead, the Patriots quarterbacks have already learned not to throw in Darrelle Revis' direction.
7. Pierre Garcon told "NFL AM" on Thursday that he and DeSean Jackson plan to unseat Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as the NFL's top wide-receiver duo. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks is on board with that prediction.