Colin Kaepernick's troubled season has come to an end as the 49ers placed him on Injured Reserve, and it could also mean an end to his career with the team.
The quarterback might undergo surgery next week on his left (non-throwing) shoulder for a labrum tear. Kaepernick told The Sacramento Bee that he sustained the injury in the week 4 game against the Green Bay Packers. The Niners promoted quarterback Dylan Thompson from the practice squad to take his place on the active roster.
Although Kaepernick signed a six-year deal before the 2014 season that could have been worth up to $126 million, the majority of the reported money in NFL contracts is not guaranteed. According to SFGate, the injury allows the team to avoid paying him if he is traded or cut by April of next year.
Despite his meteoric rise in 2012, replacing an injured Alex Smith and eventually leading the team to the Super Bowl, Kaepernick's 2015 has been the lowest point of his career. In a week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons, backup Blaine Gabbert started over Kaepernick, leading the team to a victory.
Given the current turmoil surrounding the team and the amount of money left on his deal, all signs point towards the team wanting to move on.