Back in January when the 49ers hired Chip Kelly to be the team’s head coach, one of the obvious concerns was how Kelly would work with general manager Trent Baalke.
In the weeks since Kelly arrived in the Bay Area, the Niners leadership group has consistently put out the message that all members – CEO Jed York, Baalke and Kelly – are on the same page.
Baalke will be in charge of personnel and Kelly will be in charge of coaching the team. Ever since Kelly arrived, Baalke, York and Kelly have reiterated that they will work well together to try and bring this team back from its steep, two-year slide into also-ran status.
That’s why it’s interesting this week to see reports that the 49ers, according to sources, are giving Kelly much of the say in whether to keep or trade quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Jason Cole, a longtime NFL reporter now working for Bleacher Report, released a video Monday that indicates Kelly’s thoughts on the quarterback will be the main factor in whether the QB will continue to work out this offseason, learning the new spread offense installed by Kelly, or go to a team such as the Broncos or Jets that have expressed interest in him, especially since Kaepernick’s agents in February said Kaepernick wants out.
“San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York has indicated that in a perfect world, he would like to hold on to quarterback Colin Kaepernick,” said Cole Monday. “However York made it clear that the final decision on what happens with the player will be up to new coach Chip Kelly. York believes Kaepernick fits into what Kelly wants to do, but again, this is a football decision and the owner said he is going to stay out of it.
“For now, however, there are positive signs on Kaepernick’s side that he would like to stay with the team. He met with the team last week for a medical checkup and has talked to Kelly on several occasions. And what the 49ers ultimately believe is that the request for a trade was actually pushed by another factor.”
That factor, Cole said was the business breakup of the quarterback’s two agents, which resulted in mixed messages to the team.
“There’s a lot going on with Kaepernick,” said Cole. “Ultimately we’ll see whether the 49ers keep him or whether Chip Kelly decides to let him go.”
Kaepernick is scheduled to begin offseason workouts with the team in early April.
This week, too, Kaepernick posted a positive message on Twitter that could be an indication he’s feeling better about his future with the Niners. While volunteering at Camp Taylor, a program that provides programs for kids with heart disease, Kaepernick tweeted a cartoon of Charlie Brown and Snoopy with the caption “Good things are coming.” Wrote Kaepernick: “Gotta believe that! Good things are coming. #Persevere #Resilience #Endurance #StayPositive #LivelikeYouAreDying.”
Is it possible that Kaepernick’s conversations with Kelly have repaired the frayed connection between the quarterback and the 49ers? We should find out soon, in comments by Kelly in April during the start of the offseason program.