Jed York and Trent Baalke are playing a game of chicken with John Elway.
The problem for them is they are driving a smart car to Elway's eighteen wheeler.
On Friday, Colin Kaepernick's base salary of $11.9 million for 2016 will become fully guaranteed. The San Francisco 49ers have leaked that they are more than happy to do just that.
Ian Rapaport reported that the 49ers have no intention of trading Kaepernick unless they're "blown away" by an offer.
However, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News was apt to point out yesterday that if that were truly the case then why leak anything? Why not just hold firm and let the deadline come and go?
This is absolutely York’s stance at the moment and it’s always good to hear about it.
But there are some holes here in York’s stance, as always, and extreme points of weakness detectable in his latest PR ploy in the middle of a sensitive relationship with a coach or player.
I’ve checked again and Kaepernick is not going to rescind his trade request. I don’t even know why the 49ers would leak about this, but they did, and Kaepernick isn’t going to do it.
There is no point to Kaepernick doing that now. Zero. Which should not be a surprise, except maybe to Jed York and all his buddies.
Why would the 49ers guarantee the $11.9M only if he rescinds the trade request? With the deadline coming up this week, what’s the point of that?
What would dropping the request do for Kaepernick, presuming he really does want out? Which he does?
Psst: It’s all about Jed York PR and he’s awful at PR.
Kawakami seems to suggest that the 49ers are instead growing increasingly desperate and are hoping to somehow drive the price up a little more Kaepernick.
The problem is Elway's driving that eighteen wheeler. This trade deadline is the 49ers problem, not the Broncos.
Does this mean the 49ers will panic and trade Kaepernick by their Friday deadline? Not really. Kawakami also seems to think York will let his emotions get in the way of the smart business decision.
49ers are awful at this kind of thing because usually Jed gets too emotional during the entirety of the process.
Like right now.
Do you ever hear New England, Green Bay, Seattle or Baltimore leak about what they intend to do days and weeks before the actual deadline to do it?
No, competent management groups don’t play it out via media poker.
But Jed and Trent do it on every issue, from firing Jim Harbaugh to trying to prop up Tomsula and then firing Tomsula and the entirety of their Kaepernick Cold War.
Which looks like it might last a few more weeks, at least.
Which means, Elway is smartly playing things slow. He knows he can always push for a trade after the 2016 NFL Draft. That smart car will swerve at the last minute anyway.
For now, let the 49ers panic this week and if they hold firm, hit them up for their disgruntled quarterback after the only compensation left is draft picks in 2017.