"I wouldn't say we are out there looking for it, but I wouldn't rule it out," Baalke said of a potential Kaepernick deal, via ESPN.com.
The report, which adds that two sources told ESPN that the 49ers would not use their No. 7 overall pick on a quarterback, puts the second half of the top 10 in an interesting position heading into Thursday's first round. The 49ers likely have the first crack at Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, widely believed to be the next passer taken after Jared Goff (Cal) and Carson Wentz (North Dakota State). Kaepernick's unhappiness in San Francisco and desire to play elsewhere would seem to put new head coach Chip Kelly in the market for someone to run his system.
It also sends a message to quarterback needy teams like the Broncos and Jets -- perhaps a nudge to let them know that business can still get done before the 49ers go on the clock. Denver has said that they would be happy with Mark Sanchez as their starter and to let Trevor Siemian compete for the job. In New York, they are still playing contract chicken with last year's starter, Ryan Fitzpatrick with no clear end in sight.
Either way, this is a fairly traditional kickoff to the 24 hours before the draft and could represent the biggest wildcard heading into the offseason.
It would not surprise anyone to see Kaepernick start and flourish in Kelly's system -- one that is tailor-made for the lightning fast quarterback. But the things that make the most sense aren't always the things that end up getting done, which is why the 49ers will keep one phone line open.