Colin Kaepernick has sat in the center of the rumor cycle for weeks. But he won't be jettisoned anytime soon.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday night on NFL Network's Total Access that the San Francisco 49ers won't cut the quarterback before his contract becomes fully guaranteed on April 1. Rapoport added that the Niners also won't trade Kaepernick unless they are "blown away" by an offer.
Don't expect a "blown away" type of offer to materialize anytime soon.
The Denver Broncos appear to be the last suitor left. NFL Media columnist Michael Silver previously reported that general manager John Elway values Kap at a fourth-round pick level. The Broncos haven't been willing to come up from that level and the 49ers aren't giving up Kaepernick for that price.
(Aside: Rapoport notes that the key date to watch for in relation to Kaepernick's contract is actually March 31 at 4 p.m. -- the deadline for transactions to be submitted prior to April 1. If he's not cut at that point, his $11.9 million base salary will be fully guaranteed for 2016.)
The 49ers appear comfortable keeping Kaepernick. General manager Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly both reiterated over the past month that they want him as their QB for 2016. The question is whether Kap is comfortable returning to an organization that wasn't confident in him last season.
Per Rapoport, the 49ers would have already guaranteed his contract if Kaepernick stepped away from his request for a trade.
The rumors surrounding Kaepernick won't cease after the deadline passes, but the Niners aren't going to acquiesce to a trade unless they get valuable compensation in return for a quarterback once viewed as the future of the position.