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GameDay: Is 49ers QB Kaepernick Worth A Big New Contract?

KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O'Donnell hosts "Gameday" every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.

(KPIX 5) -- What is it with sports and contracts? Why do we always talk about a coach or player leaving when he still has time on his deal?

First it was 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, now its quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Boston Globe reported that he wants $18 million a year.

Does he deserve it? Yes.

Since taking over for Alex Smith, Kaepernick's passer rating is 92.8. That's 8th best in the NFL. He is unequalled when it comes to running the football, and he has taken the 49ers to the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship.

His 4thquarter performance in the NFC Championship against Seattle was a disaster. But remember, Kaepernick is entering just his 4th season and is still learning to be a pocket passer. He has been unable to finish off the opponent on football's biggest stage, but I expect he'll figure out how to bring the curtain down soon enough.

But the real reason Kaepernick will become the next 49er multimillionaire is because he has the leverage. Quite frankly, the 49ers don't have another option. Their time to win a Super Bowl started three years ago and they have yet to close the deal. The clock on this team is ticking, and losing Kaepernick is simply not an option.

I sat down with Colin Kaepernick during his rookie season. He was interesting, engaging and colorful in that summer back in 2011.

At some point, however, he was given bad advice. His postgame interviews are painful: One-word responses that reveal nothing about the game in which he just played, good or bad. He is rude and disrespectful to the media, whose job it is to deliver Kaepernick's message to the fans that pay small fortunes to watch him play football.

My message to Kaepernick would be to understand the role the media plays. Give them some low-hanging fruit, and then put the headphones back on.

But hey, I also know that players are paid to play, period. Like his head coach, as long as Kaepernick wins, nobody cares.

Kaepernick is due to make just under $1 million in 2014. I expect that number will increase to at least $15 million, and likely higher.

This is no time to haggle over $3 million, $5 million, or whatever monopoly money we're talking about. It's the going rate and a Super Bowl in riding on it.

I'll see you on TV.

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