A Cleveland Browns official said Monday his team and the 49ers had “very preliminary” discussions regarding Colin Kaepernick, but the team no longer is pursuing the 49ers quarterback.
“So and so is reporting we’ve got into contract negotiations and draft pick negotiations with San Francisco that just weren’t happening,” Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown told the Akron Beacon-Journal at the NFL owners meeting in Florida. “We were called about whether or not we’d have some interest and had some very preliminary discussions. And it didn’t go much further than that.”
The Sacramento Bee previously reported that the teams spoke about Kaepernick’s potential value and the Browns deemed him worth a third-round draft selection. A trade to Cleveland, however, would require Kaepernick to restructure his contract to a lower salary, something he is reluctant to do on a Browns team that lost two starting offensive linemen in free agency and could draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.
The Denver Broncos and 49ers also discussed potential trade parameters, but the sides remain apart on compensation. The 49ers have said they are prepared to keep Kaepernick on their roster April 1, when $11.9 million in his contract becomes guaranteed, and beyond.
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“Kap will be a Niner,” a source recently predicted.
Kaepernick has had three surgeries since December and was in Santa Clara on Friday for a scheduled physical. The next day, he was back in Vail, Colo., where the procedures were performed and where he is rehabilitating.
Meanwhile, Brown suggested Cleveland could sign former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, a free agent who visited the team last week.
Source: Cook workout set – The 49ers will hold a private workout next month with Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, a league source said Monday.
Cook generally is considered the fourth-best quarterback in the draft and could be available late in the first round or early in the second of next month’s draft.
Because they have 12 picks, the 49ers can maneuver in the draft. They could consider a scenario similar to the one they used in 2011 when they drafted a defensive player, Aldon Smith, with seventh overall and traded ahead a few spots to take Kaepernick with their next pick in the second round.
Kaepernick’s future with the 49ers is fuzzy. The 49ers have had trade discussions with Denver and Cleveland, but those talks have been tabled for the last two weeks. He is one of four quarterbacks under contract in San Francisco for 2016. The others are Blaine Gabbert, Thad Lewis and Dylan Thompson.
A large contingent of 49ers personnel, including coach Chip Kelly and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, attended Cal quarterback Jared Goff’s pro day Friday. Goff is considered one of the top two passers in the draft. The other, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, will hold his pro day Thursday. Another quarterback, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, won’t throw until April 6.
Last week, the 49ers sent scout Steve Rubio and outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver to Michigan State’s pro day, where Tarver spent time with outside linebacker candidate Shilique Calhoun. Day likely will be on hand for Cook’s and any other college quarterback’s private workout with the team.
Kelly went to pro days at San Jose State, Stanford and Cal last week. But he said he would not travel far, as he did last year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly had broader authority over the Eagles’ personnel.
Cook is unique among the top quarterbacks in the draft because he operated out of a pro-style attack and took most of his snaps from under center. He has a quick release and threw for 3,131 yards and 24 touchdowns with seven interceptions last season. He was named the MVP in the 2013 and 2015 Big Ten Conference championship games.
Michigan State did not ask Cook to run. Kelly’s college quarterbacks excelled as rushers, and he presumably is seeking that dimension in a quarterback.
Cook rushed 52 times for 56 yards last season. He had three career rushing touchdowns but none as a senior. Still, his 4.79-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 33-inch vertical jump suggest he has decent athleticism and his modest rushing totals had more to do with the Spartans’ system.
Cook measured 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds with 9 3/4 -inch hands, which were average among the 20 quarterbacks at last month’s combine. Kelly said he prefers quarterbacks with big hands.