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Colin Kaepernick still with 49ers; salary guaranteed

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Not all deadlines spur action.

As anticipated, the San Francisco 49ers opted not to cut Colin Kaepernick ahead of Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, meaning the quarterback's $11.9 million salary is fully guaranteed for 2016. Thursday marked the deadline as opposed to Friday because 4 p.m. Thursday marked the deadline for transactions to be submitted prior to Friday.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport has repeatedly reported over the past several weeks that the 49ers had no plans to cut Kaepernick before the deadline. The injury guarantees in his contract might have made it impossible to clip the quarterback anyway. But the Niners had no plans to go that route, vocally stating their belief that Kaepernick can be a quality quarterback under new coach Chip Kelly.

Despite the deadline passing, don't expect the Kap trade rumors to dissipate. In February, the quarterback's agents asked the 49ers for permission to seek a trade and until he has a change of heart, a swap could still come to fruition. A trade scenario is more likely to happen as we inch closer to the draft. Teams needing a quarterback -- such as the Denver Broncos -- could decide to up their compensation. Or the Niners might lower their compensation demands if they land a signal-caller in the first round.

Rapoport noted that the Friday of the draft could be a key day in those negotiations, when those second- and third-round picks are officially on the board.

In the meantime, Kaepernick is expected to show up for offseason workouts -- he has a bonus in his contract. With a new coach in town, the 49ers are able to commence meeting on April 4. In the time between those workouts and the NFL draft, it's possible Kelly could convince Kap to drop the trade request. Or Kelly might decide the quarterback is not a good fit.

The real deadline for any Kaepernick decision is the draft. Thursday's deadline makes Kap's money guaranteed, but it doesn't guarantee the quarterback will wear a 49ers jersey when the season commences.

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