In a rare move, Colin Kaepernick made news with his words Thursday.
The usually reserved San Francisco 49ers quarterback made headlines by taking on Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. Kaepernick said Sherman's comments about the 49ers after the NFC title game were "ridiculous" and that he looks forward to facing Sherman next season.
Good for Kaepernick. He's right. Sherman's actions were ridiculous.
Kaepernick needed to comment. He's the face of the 49ers. Sherman attacked his receiver Michael Crabtree and attacked Kaepernick by giving him the "choke" sign after the game-sealing interception. Kaepernick should stick up for himself; he also stoked this rivalry. Is there any doubt it's now the best in the NFL?
The rivalry was already through the roof. But after the incredible title game, the injuries the 49ers suffered in the game, Sherman's comments and Kaepernick rebuttal, this thing is a five-alarm fire. Expect these two teams to play early next season in prime time. I could even see this being the season-opening game if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl.
Kaepernick also handled talk about his new contract well. He is eligible for a new deal and has one year remaining on his rookie contract. Kaepernick told San Francisco radio station KNBR on Thursday: "I think it's a balance. You want to be paid fairly for what you feel like you're doing in comparison to your peers. But at the same time, you have to realize, if we want to get Anquan Boldin back, if we want Donte Whitner to come back, we're going to have to make moves to get them back. And there has to be room for everyone. And that's something I'm going to let my agent and the organization try to figure out. But hopefully, it's a position where we can assemble the best team we need."
Kaepernick is weighing his needs and the team's -- an important distinction for a leader. Kaepernick doesn't always allow a deep look in interviews, but Thursday he did. It was a good look.