Trent Dilfer made his weekly appearance on KNBR Tuesday and told Fitz and Brooks he thinks the Colin Kaepernick era in San Francisco is over.
“I can’t see any scenario where he’s still here,” Dilfer said. “I think that’s probably going to be the first question that the GMs and the head coaches interviewing are asked — or will be one of the first questions.”
Kaepernick tossed 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 11 starts in 2016. His 90.7 quarterback rating was his highest since 2013, but his completion percentage (59.2) was still near the bottom of the league.
“I thought Colin, he showed some signs at the end of the year that he was adapting better and he was getting comfortable with Chip’s (Kelly) offense,” Dilfer said. “There were some signs late. I’m not trying to put whipped cream on turd here, but it looked better towards the end of the year. But I don’t think it’s justification for him to be the quarterback here next year. I totally agree with you (Bob Fitzgerald), that if you’re going to start over fresh, it has to be completely fresh. There can’t be any of the carryover that the fans and everybody suffered through the past few years.”
If the 49ers look to free agency to fill the need of a veteran backup, options will be limited — Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Shaun Hill, Matt McGloin, E.J. Manual, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, too. Kirk Cousins is a free agent, but is expected to stay with the Redskins.
“The next GM and coach is going to have a vision for how they want the quarterback to play,” Dilfer said. “And I don’t think Colin is going to fit into that vision.”
Ponder told 49ers reporters on Monday he expects the team will take a rookie in the first or second round, and that he’d like to stick around as the veteran backup.