SAN FRANCISCO, May 7 (UPI) -- Could Colin Kaepernick go from possibly leading the reigning Super Bowl champions, to a third-string demotion in one offseason?
Grant Cohn of the Press Democrat thinks so.
"And I think the 49ers want Colin to be the third-stringer," Cohn wrote Friday. "As a third-string quarterback, the Niners could de-activate Colin every game and save the weekly $125,000 roster bonuses they'd have to pay him."
Kaepernick, 28, signed a seven-year, $126.97 million deal, with $61 million guaranteed in 2014. But only $13.073 million was guaranteed at signing. He is due $13.9 million in 2016 and $16.5 million in 2017. He isn't a free agent until the 2021 season.
Cohn's logic is more about Kaepernick's competition, as the quarterback will battle Blaine Gabbert for the starting gig. Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway said the team was no longer pursing Kaepernick last month, after drafting Memphis' Paxton Lynch in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Cohn came to his conclusion by playing 'Where's Waldo' in the 49ers.com team photo galleries. He spotted the quarterback eight times in 656 photos.
The 49ers used a second round pick on Kaepernick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Since then, he has produced a 27-20 record as a starter, while completing 815-of-1,361 passes for 10,030 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. He threw just six touchdowns, against five interceptions, quarterbacking the 49ers to a 2-6 record last season in games he started.