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.
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 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.