Despite reports Colin Kaepernick has asked to be traded, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York believes the team can keep the quarterback.
"All I can tell you is that the last conversation I had with Kap was a good conversation," York told The San Jose Mercury News on Friday. "I asked how he was feeling. I hope he's doing well. I care about his health and well-being because I think he can be a big piece of what we're doing, going forward."
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Niners general manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine Kaepernick is "absolutely" in the team's plans for 2016. The 49ers will owe Kaepernick his full base salary of $11.9 million if he is on the roster April 1.
Kaepernick was benched midway through the 2015 season after throwing just six touchdowns and five interceptions in eight starts. He was later placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery. Kaepernick was replaced by former Jaguars starter Blaine Gabbert, who has a 2016 base salary of $2 million and threw 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games, going 3-5 as the starter.
Gabbert threw for 354 yards in a season-ending upset of the Rams as the Niners finished 5-11.
"I think that it was very clear from (coach) Chip (Kelly), from Trent and, ultimately with my blessing to say that we're more than comfortable paying Kap," York told the Mercury News. "Because they want him here. Chip thinks he would be a great fit for our offense."
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Reports surfaced Saturday that the Texans and Browns are among teams interested in Kaepernick.
"I haven't talked to his people," York told the Mercury News. "And I try to stay away from what the agents say. I know what our feeling is. We want Kap to be healthy. And we'd like to see Kap here."