Kaepernick has been the biggest story at the NFL combine. On Tuesday, the 49ers firmed up their intention to keep him. On Wednesday, Kaepernick's agents requested that the 49ers trade the quarterback.
What is Kaepernick's value on the trade market? It would seem unlikely that the 49ers could match the two second-round picks they received when quarterback Alex Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. It's debatable whether the 49ers could net much better than a fourth- or a fifth-round pick for Kaepernick.
Let's review the market:
Los Angeles Rams: Kaepernick's most logical landing spot is the Rams. Jeff Fisher wouldn't mind having a running quarterback for a running offense. Kaepernick's running ability would open up more holes for Todd Gurley. The combination of Kaepernick and Gurley could make the Rams one of the top three running teams in football. But the Rams are in the 49ers' division. They simply can't trade him to a division foe, so the Rams have to hope to get him after he's cut, and the 49ers have to steer him out of the NFC West.
Cleveland Browns: Kaepernick would be an interesting third option for new coach Hue Jackson, who liked Kaepernick when the former offensive coordinator was in Oakland. But that was in 2011. Plenty has changed since then. A new team with a new coach might prefer to go with a rookie quarterback like Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. With the roster under reconstruction, acquiring Kaepernick could create unrealistic expectations. They don't have playoff talent, especially on defense. It could benefit the 49ers to dangle Kaepernick to Cleveland for a fourth- or fifth-round pick just to keep him away from the Rams.
Buffalo Bills: Kaepernick's $11.9 million salary would be difficult for the Bills to squeeze into their overextended salary cap. Kaepernick would have to reduce or restructure his contract to accommodate a trade. The Bills' offensive coordinator is Greg Roman, who did wonders with Kaepernick in San Francisco. But there were issues in their last year together. Kaepernick would have to really make sacrifices to get to Buffalo, and the 49ers would have to get him there for a cheap draft choice.
New York Jets: You don't hear much from the Jets about their interest in Kaepernick. They could re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick for less money than Kaepernick could command. The Jets still don't know if Bryce Petty is the quarterback of the future. Maybe the 49ers could convince the Jets to take Kaepernick for a third-day draft choice, but it might be a tough sell.
Houston Texans: Bill O'Brien prefers pocket-passing quarterbacks. He runs a very complicated offensive system. O'Brien's system and Kaepernick's style aren't a good match.