Speculation rose on Wednesday that Colin Kaepernick would become a free agent for the first time in his NFL career after a source told NFL insider Adam Schefter that Kapernick plans on opting out of the final season of this contract.
Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract before free agency opens next week.
The original contract was supposed to keep him in San Francisco through 2020, but the team revamped it on Oct. 12 and part of the new deal was that Kapernick traded $14.5 million in injury guarantees during the 2017 season for the opportunity to opt out of the deal early.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday he would consider bringing back Kaepernick if the quarterback is interested.
During a meeting this week, which Lynch described as open and transparent, the 49ers made it clear they'd like to have him back.
Under the circumstances, Kaepernick might be the 49ers' best option.
"Well, I know that we don't have any (quarterbacks) really under contract. I know Kaepernick is, but just seeing (Wednesday) that he's going to opt out in a week or whenever that is, we don't have anybody on our roster," new coach Kyle Shanahan said. "So I've thrown them into the category of everybody else who are free agents and possibilities going into the draft."
ESPN also reported Thursday that Kaepernick will stand during the national anthem this season.
The 49ers originally selected the former Turlock resident and Pitman graduate out of Nevada-Reno in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft.
He played 69 regular season games, started in 58 and tossed 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and just 30 interceptions. He completed 59.8 percent of his passes while accumulating an overall record of 28-30 during his tenure and a postseason record of 4-2 along with an NFC Championship.
Kapernick also did well on the ground, rushing for 2,300 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and tallying 13 touchdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.