NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Jets are “officially out” of the running for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to a report.
Earlier this month, New York was reportedly one of three teams discussing a trade for the disgruntled QB. The Jets have been eyeing alternatives in the event they are unable to re-sign free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday evening the Jets are not pursuing Kaepernick. The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns were also reportedly involved in trade talks for him, but the Browns on Thursday signed Robert Griffin III, meaning Kaepernick will likely be suiting up for either the 49ers or Broncos in 2016.
Kaepernick, 28, has reportedly asked to be traded out of San Francisco. Last month, the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta reported that the Jets were Kaepernick’s preferred destination, but the interest apparently wasn’t mutual.
Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to the Super Bowl three years ago, was benched for backup Blaine Gabbert after a 2-6 start this past season. Two weeks later, the 49ers placed Kaepernick on season-ending injured reserve with a hurt shoulder, reportedly at the quarterback’s request.
Griffin also appeared to be a possible fallback plan for the Jets. With him and Kaepernick now out of the picture, New York’s most likely options for a starting QB, if they fail to retain Fitzpatrick, include handing fourth-year player Geno Smith the job, trading to acquire Cleveland’s Josh McCown, Houston’s Brian Hoyer or Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon, or spending a high draft choice on a QB.
Jets owner Woody Johnson said this week that re-signing Fitzpatrick is a high priority. The team and QB have reportedly been millions of dollars per season apart in contract talks.