It was believed that the Cleveland Browns were very interested in acquiring quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
It had been reported that new Browns head coach Hue Jackson admired the 49ers quarterback and would provide a system in which Kaepernick could thrive.
But if the 49ers are looking for a trade partner, Cleveland may be out of the picture.
On Monday, Browns director of football operations Sashi Brown told Pat McManamon of ESPN.com that trade talks between the Browns and 49ers were “way over reported.”
“Not actively engaged with San Francisco and at this point don’t anticipate being actively engaged with San Francisco,” Brown told McManamon. “But I know it’s that time of year when something can catch a headline.”
The Browns recently released quarterback Johnny Manziel and have been in the market for a franchise quarterback for many seasons. Though Kaepernick is coming off a pair of disappointing seasons, he’s still young (28) and has shown in the past that he has the skills to be very successful. Jackson, an offensive mind, has said in the past that he likes Kaepernick.
But now it appears the Browns are taking their time. They’ve met with former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, a free agent, and also have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, where they could select a quarterback.
Signing Griffin as a free agent is certainly an easier solution than trying to work out a trade with the 49ers for Kaepernick.
The Denver Broncos and New York Jets remain interested in Kaepernick, according to several reports. It’s also possible the 49ers keep Kaepernick, whose $11.9 million base salary for 2016 becomes guaranteed if he is on the San Francisco roster on April 1, according to Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.
“The Denver Broncos remain the odds-on favorite as Kaepernick’s landing spot,” wrote Inman. “Mark Sanchez’s recent acquisition doesn’t solve their need at the position as they seek a second straight Lombardi Trophy.”