Indianapolis — General manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday he expects quarterback Colin Kaepernick to be with the 49ers next season.
Asked at the Combine if Baalke foresees a return to the team by Kaepernick, who lost his job last season to Blaine Gabbert, he replied “absolutely.”
Kaepernick went 2-6 before being benched. His future in San Francisco seemed uncertain, but with the hiring of Chip Kelly as coach, Kaepernick’s style would seem a good fit. Kelly prefers mobile quarterbacks who can throw on the run, but Kaepernick will need to improve his accuracy and decision making.
Kaepernick is recovering from medical procedures on his right thumb, his left knee, and on his non-throwing left shoulder to fix a torn labrum. His $11.9 million 2016 contract becomes fully guaranteed for injury April 1 if he’s on the roster.
“I think the good thing is we’ve got two guys that have gone into games and proven they can play,” Baalke said. “And Colin’s done some awful good things through his career, won some big games for the San Francisco 49ers and (we) expect him to come back.”
Kelly is not scheduled to speak at the combine.
Saints career leading receiver Marques Colston reportedly has been informed he’ll be released by the only team for which he has played during his 10-year career.
Colston, a seventh-round pick out of Hofstra in 2006, owns Saints receiving records for catches with 711, yards with 9,759 and touchdowns with 72.
Playing through various injuries in recent years, Colston had his least productive season with 520 yards and four touchdowns.
... The Eagles released two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
A former Browns wide receiver who’d become a respected and popular figure in the city where he played his best football pleaded guilty to stealing from two children’s charities to pay his gambling debts and personal expenses and is expected to serve prison time.
Reggie Rucker, who played seven seasons for the Browns, was charged last week in U.S. District Court with wire fraud and lying to FBI agents. A plea agreement calls for Rucker, who’s 68, to serve about two years in prison.
... Browns linebacker Armonty Bryant pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession charges.
Bryant, 25, and a former teammate, 23-year-old De’Ante Saunders, were arrested after a traffic stop in a Cleveland suburb on Christmas. Police say they found marijuana, two prescription pills and a loaded handgun in Saunders’ car.
Saunders, a practice squad player, was cut; Bryant was suspended the final two games.