The Denver Broncos' offseason program began Monday with Colin Kaepernick in Santa Clara, not Colorado.
The quarterback, who has met twice with Broncos officials but who is not interested in the massive pay cut Denver wants him to take, has been part of the 49ers' offseason program since it began April 4. For the last two weeks, those sessions have been restricted to strength and conditioning work. Phase II, which allows on-field work, including quarterbacks throwing to receivers, began Monday.
The 49ers started their program two weeks earlier than most teams, including the Broncos, because they have a new coaching staff.
Kaepernick still is rehabilitating from three surgeries and is not expected to be fully cleared until next month. The team's other quarterbacks are Blaine Gabbert, Thad Lewis and Dylan Thompson.
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The Broncos, meanwhile, have just two passers on their roster, Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian. The latter never has attempted an NFL regular-season pass. That situation has prompted them to explore trading for Kaepernick.
As of now, Kaepernick is slated for base salaries of $11.9 million and $14.5 million in each of the next two seasons. Denver wants those figures to be around $7 million each year and their contract proposal wouldn't give the quarterback a chance to make up the lost earnings in incentives, a source said. That's why he has rejected the proposal.
The next potential chance for a trade is during the draft, which begins April 28. But as it stands now, the 49ers and Broncos could not simply make a deal for Kaepernick. Denver currently has around $9 million in salary-cap space while the Kaepernick's salary-cap figure is $15.9 million.
That is, the Broncos either would have to clear more space or get Kaepernick to agree to a reduced figure before a deal could go down. The two sides currently are not negotiating.
Kaepernick's injuries, meanwhile, give Gabbert a head-start on running new head coach Chip Kelly's offense. Kelly has said all along that he looks forward to working with both quarterbacks this year.
Gabbert replaced Kaepernick after eight games last season and finished with better stats -- Kaepernick's passer rating was 78.5; Gabbert's was 86.2 -- and one more win. After he was benched, Kaepernick went on injured reserve with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which was surgically repaired. He had subsequent procedures on his left knee and his right thumb ligament. All of them were performed in Vail, Colo.