SANTA CLARA (CBS SPORTS) -- The benching of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this week has only heightened the frayed relationship between him and the upper management of the team and created a climate in which it is virtually certain he is not back in San Francisco in 2016, according to team and league sources.
Trust between the player -- viewed as a franchise quarterback and potential superstar when leading the team to the Super Bowl just three years ago -- and the organization has eroded to the point where any cosmetic attempts to rebuild bridges are essentially a lost cause, and the prospect of Kaepernick actually playing there next season are viewed as a non-starter.
Kaepernick has not asked for a trade, though the 49ers were among the clubs who were open to dealing pretty much anyone on their roster before Tuesday's deadline, including their quarterback, according to league sources. His benching this week, for Blaine Gabbert, has further polarized the locker room, sources said, and several of Kaepernick's teammates believe he would ask for a trade or his release rather than stay with the 49ers next year.
Short of Gabbert getting hurt, Kaepernick rallying the 49ers on an improbable playoff run and him hitting key salary triggers in his contract -- a scenario beyond remote -- those close to the situation cannot fathom him being back there next season, when he would make upwards of $15 million in 2016, and even that end result would far from assure the sides would want to proceed together.
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