During an eight-minute conversation with reporters Tuesday, Kaepernick laughed and smiled while repeatedly deflecting questions about his status with the only NFL team he's played for.
Instead, Kaepernick insisted over and over that his focus is solely on San Francisco's season finale against division rival Seattle on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
“For us, looking ahead is Sunday,” Kaepernick said. “That's where our focus is right now, that's where all of our energy is going. We want to make sure we end this season right with a win and do everything this week to prepare for that.”
Kaepernick originally signed a $114-million, six-year contract with the 49ers in 2014, but restructured it down to a two-year deal this past October — one day after replacing Blaine Gabbert as San Francisco's starting quarterback.
The new contract, much more franchise friendly than the original deal, converting Kaepernick's game bonuses into guaranteed money, includes a clause allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
Since replacing Gabbert as the starter, Kaepernick has had varying degrees of success during this mostly dismal season for the 49ers. In 10 starts he has passed 15 touchdowns with four interceptions, 2,026 yards and an 88.2 rating despite a career-low 57.7 completion percentage.
“My focus is this week and making sure that I'm doing everything I can to prepare, and to try to help my teammates prepare this week to get a win,” Kaepernick said. “When you're in a situation like this, how you finish the season can help set the foundation for next season. That's what we have to be able to do this week, go out and get a win, leave on a positive note and have something to build on this offseason where we can improve and come into next season ready to roll.”
While Derek Carr underwent surgery to repair his broken right leg on Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders began preparing for a playoff run without their star quarterback. Carr had the operation in Los Angeles and reported on his Twitter account that it went well. “Surgery couldn't have gone better! Received great news! Already started the recovery process! Thank you for all of your prayers as I heal up!” he wrote. … Bills backup quarterback EJ Manuel will start in place of Tyrod Taylor for their season finale at the New York Jets on Sunday, according to sources cited in various media reports. Manuel hasn't started since a 34-31 loss to Jacksonville on Oct. 25, 2015. The switch comes the same day as Rex Ryan being fired as coach. ... Bruce DeHaven, a longtime special teams coach who helped the Buffalo Bills go to four consecutive Super Bowls, has died following a battle with prostate cancer. He was 68. Buffalo Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said DeHaven passed away Tuesday in Orchard Park, New York, with his family by his side. ...
The Tennessee Titans have placed quarterback Marcus Mariota (broken leg) on injured reserve and promoted quarterback Alex Tanney from the practice squad. Tanney will back up Matt Cassel on Sunday against Houston. … Christian Hackenberg's NFL debut will have to wait until next season. Coach Todd Bowles and the New York Jets are turning back to Ryan Fitzpatrick to start at quarterback against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. … The Cleveland Browns waived offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, a former first-round pick by Arizona. The team made the move on Tuesday in advance of guard Alvin Bailey returning from a two-game suspension following his arrest for drunken driving.