The Seahawks' interest in Kaepernick makes sense on a number of different levels. They need a more proven backup than Trevone Boykin, especially after Russell Wilson suffered three different injuries last season. Kaepernick has the second-lowest interception rate in NFL history and has the athleticism to be a factor in the run game should Wilson go down.
But ultimately, whether a deal gets done or not will likely come down to cost.
There are potentially three options here:
1. A minimum salary benefit deal
The Seahawks could offer Kaepernick a one-year deal at $980,000, but only $695,000 would count against the cap. Minimum salary benefit deals were designed to help veterans who have been in the league for four seasons or more compete with younger players by reducing their cap charge.
The Seahawks used this type of deal with veteran guard Jahri Evans last summer.
However, this might not be enough incentive for Kaepernick to sign right now. If this is all the Seahawks are willing to offer, he might be better served to wait until August, see how teams are affected by injuries at the quarterback spot and reassess the situation.
2. A one-year deal between $2 million and $4 million
This is the range for backup quarterbacks. Geno Smith signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants that's worth $1.2 million, but his contract contains $800,000 in not likely to be earned (NLTBE) bonuses for a max value of $2 million.
Case Keenum's exact role with the Minnesota Vikings is unclear, but he got a one-year, $2 million deal. Mark Sanchez signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Chicago Bears before they drafted Mitch Trubisky. His deal has $2 million in NLTBE bonuses for a max value of $4 million.
This type of structure seems like the most likely option if the Seahawks really want Kaepernick. They can sign him to a one-year deal for around $2 million with incentives so that he's rewarded if he plays and plays well.
As for Kaepernick, he's obviously accomplished more than the other quarterbacks listed in this group. But given that we are now in late May, and the Seahawks are the only team that's had him in for a visit, it'd be a surprise if he ended up getting a deal above this range.
3. A multiyear deal
This is easily the least likely of the three options because it would make little sense for Kaepernick. His best-case scenario would be to sign with the Seahawks, play well in spot duty, have teammates and coaches rave about him and then sign a bigger deal next offseason with another team.
Wilson is signed through 2019, meaning that Kaepernick agreeing to multiple years of backup duty would lack appeal.
From the Seahawks' perspective, a multiyear deal would be great. At the very least, they'd have a viable backup. And in the event that Kaepernick were to get on the field and play well, they'd have a trade chip at the most important position in sports.
But in the end, multiple years is a concession that Kaepernick's camp will almost definitely be unwilling to make.