Colin Kaepernick's new found wealth hasn't affected his attire – at least above the ankles. The 49ers quarterback arrived at his press conference today wearing a black 49ers t-shirt and gray workout shorts.
His socks, however, were a bit more interesting. They had various denominations of bills printed on them as if they were cascading from the sky. He must have had an inkling when he dressed this morning that he would be signing a lucrative, six-year contract, right?
“I had these on before I found out,” Kaepernick said with a laugh. “So it was the luck of the draw.”
Kaepernick spread thanks around liberally, including to his agents at XAM sports and the 49ers' group of negotiators, including Paraag Marathe and Brian Hampton. He also thanked the organization for backing him during the ongoing Miami police investigation, which entered its third month this week.
“I think everyone's very happy that this organization – from coach (Jim Harbaugh) to Jed (York) – throughout the building had this kind of confidence to do (the deal) at this point in time,” he said. “I greatly appreciate that.”
Kaepernick also acknowledged the man whose starting job he took over midway through the 2012 season. Alex Smith was having his best season when a concussion gave Kaepernick his first start against the Bears in Week 11. He never relinquished the role.
“The time I spent with him, I don’t think I would have been able to be at this point so quickly, if he hasn’t been such a great mentor with me and help me along with things,” he said of Smith, who is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Chiefs.
Kaepernick's car, as it always is, was in the prime spot in the parking lot today, a signal that he was the first one in for a workout. He said his new riches wouldn't dull the desire that propels him to be first.
“I don't think my motivation is money-driven,” he said. “I think it's driven by the success I can have on the field, not necessarily for myself, but with my teammates. That gives me all the more motivation to go out and prove that I can live up to the expectations.”
* One interesting note: In February, Kaepernick said he'd like to sign a deal that would allow the 49ers to ink other young players looking for contract extensions. Asked if his new contract, worth as much as $126 million, could possibly do that, Kaepernick said it could.
“Part of the way the contract was written and the way it was negotiated is that so we would be able to sign other players, “ he said. “And that was something that my agents and the organization worked out. And they felt this was something they'd be able to (sign) other players with.”
It will be interesting to see how the quarterback's contract is structured and if it will indeed allow the team to extend worthy players like guard Mike Iupati or receiver Michael Crabtree.