There are reports that some of the biggest names in the NFL could be changing teams this offseason, and the San Francisco 49ers are at the center of trade and free agent rumors. After getting a new head coach and losing their top running back, the team could be looking to make even more drastic changes.
Jayson Braddock of KBME SportsTalk 790 in Houston reports that San Francisco has put Colin Kaepernick on the trading block. According to Braddock, the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears have both been in talks with the 49ers about acquiring the quarterback.
The Eagles have been involved in multiple rumors surrounding their quarterback situation, and the team could be looking to replace Nick Foles. Head coach Chip Kelly is reportedly interested in reuniting with Marcus Mariota, but the team would have to trade up in the draft to have a chance of selecting the Heisman Trophy winner. Mariota was one of the most mobile quarterbacks in college football last year, and the same was the case for Kaepernick in the NFL, as he rushed for 639 yards in 2014.
Chicago could be looking to replace Jay Cutler after benching the quarterback at the end of last season. The Bears will enter 2015 with a new GM, head coach, No.1 receiver and possibly a new starting signal caller.
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke has denied the report, calling it “ridiculous,” but some who cover the team wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers make a change at quarterback. Kaepernick was chosen by Jim Harbaugh to be the 49ers’ starter, and Jim Tomsula has taken over as the team’s head coach. After leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship Game in his first two years as a starter, Kaepernick struggled to throw the ball effectively in 2014. His 3,369 passing yards ranked 17th in the league, and he ranked 20th with a 86.4 passer rating.
If Kaepernick doesn’t go elsewhere, he could be throwing to one of the top wide receivers on the market in 2015. Torrey Smith will officially become a free agent on Tuesday, having said goodbye to the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he spent the first four years of his NFL career. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Smith and the 49ers are interested in joining forces.
Smith’s 767 receiving yards were his lowest total in his four-year NFL career, but he could help San Francisco by giving them a sorely needed deep threat. Anquan Boldin was the team’s top receiver last year, but his 12.8 yards per catch ranked just 52nd in all of football. Smith has never averaged less than 15.7 yards per reception. If the 49ers sign Smith, it would likely mean the end of Michael Crabtree’s time in San Francisco.
Frank Gore and the 49ers are set to part ways. The franchise’s all-time leading rusher will reportedly sign a three-year deal with the Eagles.