Contract talks between the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick are taking an important step, as an NFL source confirmed that the sides will meet face-to-face in the Bay Area this week.
The sides have previously been in contact and met at the NFL draft combine in February, but this upcoming session is an indication that the 49ers and Kaepernick are ready to dig in on a potential deal. The Sacramento Bee earlier reported the upcoming talks Tuesday morning.
Kaepernick, 26, is entering the final season of the four-year contract he received as a second-round pick in 2011. The 49ers can give Kaepernick the franchise tag next winter if a new deal isn't agreed upon, but the intention of the team is to get a deal done.
Kaepernick is 21-8 as the 49ers' starting quarterback and has led the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC title games.
49ers owner Jed York, general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh have all publicly said this offseason that the team's goal is to get a new contract for Kaepernick this year.
Talks have been quiet in the past two months as Kaepernick has been part of an ongoing investigation in Miami for what police describe as a "suspicious incident." Police have said Kaepernick is not a criminal suspect. Authorities hope to wrap up the investigation, which started April 3, in the coming weeks. Kaepernick has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Harbaugh has defended him publicly.
Kaepernick likely will look for a salary between $18 million and $20 million. He is set to make $1.073 million this season. The 49ers have $9.142 million in salary-cap room, which is enough to fit in a deal for the quarterback.
He told reporters last week he will continue to work with his teammates through the negotiations.
"I'm letting my agents handle all of that, and I'm worried about being out here, trying to get better with my teammates and get ready for the season," Kaepernick said. "I'm playing football regardless."