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Kaepernick, 49ers working on restructured contract

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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Less than 24 hours after the Levi's Stadium crowd chanted "We want Kap! We want Kap!" during San Francisco's 33-21 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday, it appears the 49ers are working toward a restructured contract with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the 49ers and Kaepernick are closing in on a restructured contract that would alleviate concerns regarding injury guarantees in the quarterback's current deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

A reworked Kaepernick contract, which could be completed as early as Friday, would include giving him an option to void the deal after this season. The restructured pact would potentially eliminate roughly $14.5 million in injury guarantees for 2017 and could dissolve the final three years of a six-year deal that currently keeps him under contract through 2020, Rapoport added.

A new deal would eliminate the risk of the 49ers having to pay out guarantees Kaepernick if he gets hurt this season and would allow Kaepernick a chance to potentially test the free-agent market. If these parameters were put in place, the 49ers likely would be more willing to play Kaepernick moving forward because their financial risk would be drastically reduced.

Likewise, by getting the chance to play and void his contract at season's end, Kaepernick would have more direct control over his NFL future.

The development comes on the heels of a disappointing loss for the 49ers which dropped the team to 1-4 on the season. Niners coach Chip Kelly said Thursday he would evaluate the team's quarterback situation following Blaine Gabbert's disappointing performance against the Cardinals. Kelly reiterated that stance Friday, telling reporters he hasn't decided who will start against the Buffalo Bills next week.

Although Kaepernick has yet to play a snap this season, his decision to not stand during the national anthem to protest social injustice against African-Americans and other minorities in the United States has been one of the major talking points of the 2016 season.

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