Kaepernick talks rings after extension

Colin Kaepernick addressed the media Tuesday about an hour after the 49ers announced they had extended their quarterback for six more seasons. The deal will reportedly pay Kaepernick a maximum of $126 million through the year 2020 with a record $61 million guaranteed. Here's what he had to say:

Questions will appear in bold and some might be paraphrased. The initial story about Kaepernick's extension can be found here.

What sense of relief does this give you going into the season?

Colin Kaepernick: "I think everyone's very excited about it. Not only my agents, Scott Smith and Jason, but Paraag (Marathe) and Ryan and the 49ers organization put a lot of hard work in to make sure we got this done as soon as possible."

It's a big deal that comes with big pressure. What do you see yourself accomplishing over these next seven years?

CK: "Try to win as many Super Bowls as I can. I think that's your goal as a player: To try to win the Super Bowl every year you're playing. Granted, that's not necessarily realistic to win it every single year, but that's what your goal is."

I know the case in Miami – there's going to be nothing to it. But the timing: Was there ever any sense that was going to somehow railroad this deal that had been started in February?

CK: "Well, that wasn't something I was worried about. I was letting my agents handle all the talking. They did an amazing job talking with the 49ers. I think everyone's very happy that this organization, my coach to Jed (York) to everyone throughout the building had this kind of confidence to do it at this point and time. I think we all greatly appreciate that."

Did you expect this to happen so soon once they re-started face-to-face negotiations?

CK: "I really wasn't sure when it was going to be done, or the timing of it. But I'm very excited to have it done at this point and we don't have to worry about talks or anything like that moving forward. We can get back to football and focus on trying to win a Super Bowl."

You're in an elite stratosphere of players in the NFL now in terms of what you'll be making. At what point did you feel like you belonged in that club?

CK: "To me, it's something like I'm always striving to be in that group. An elite group in the NFL. Not necessarily pay, but as far as a player. Whatever comes along with that comes along with it. For me, I'm worried about being the best player I can and trying to help this organization win as many games as we can."

Why was it important for you to get the deal done now?

CK: "I wouldn't say it was something that had to done right now. I just think between my agents and the organization, they worked very hard and very well together. The timing of it – they were able to get it done six weeks earlier than what I think everyone thought."

Have you made plans on what you're going to do the first time you see your bank balance taking a big jump?

CK: "I haven't thought about it too much, but I think the first thing is make sure everyone in my family is set and, I guess, go from there."

At the end of last season I thought you made some comments that your salary demands might be somewhat more modest than what we're hearing you got in order to leave space for some players on the team. Had you rethought that position?


CK: "No. Part of the way the contract is written and the way it was negotiated is so they would be able to sign other players. That was something that my agents the organization worked out and they felt like it was this something they would be able to get other players with."

Did you ever imagine this happening to you? Before going to Nevada, a relatively small program and you being a baseball player as well, was there anything in your mind that sensed ‘I might become one of the highest paid players in the NFL?'

CK: "No, I don't think that's something I ever thought about. I think for me I always just tried to be the best player I can be. To be able to have this compensation come along with it is amazing. I'm very grateful for it. There have been tool many people that have helped me get to this position. From the organization, to my family, to coach Harbaugh, Paraag working on a deal, my agents being there, the coaches along the way. Even Alex Smith, the time I spent with him. I don't think I would be able to be at this point so quickly if he hadn't been such a great mentor to me and helped me along with things. I'm very grateful to my teammates as well. I wouldn't be here without them."

Sometimes guys get paid and they get fat and happy. That doesn't seem like it's going to be a problem with you, but is that something you'll have to guard against, just having to dull your desires slightly?

CK: ""No, I don't think so. I don't think my motivation is money driven. I think it's driven by the success I can have on the field - not necessarily for myself but with my teammates. This just gives me all the more reason to go out and prove that I can live up to the expectations, I can try to help this organization win as many Super Bowls as possible."

Is there pressure in that?

CK: "I don't feel like it's a pressure thing. I think it's my own personal expectation regardless of what anyone else thinks. My expectation is to try and win a Super Bowl every year."

What's the biggest part of your game that you think you need to improve upon to get a Super Bowl Championship?

CK: "I think it's something you're constantly trying to work on all parts of your game. But as far as progressions, getting through reads, making better decisions in certain situations. Those are always things you're trying to improve. It's always easier in hindsight to say ‘I should have done this, I could have done this.' But it's something you try to work to make sure in hindsight you're making the right decisions."

Is there anything you wanted to buy that you've always wanted to buy and now you will buy it with this new money? Or purchases?

CK: ""No. Not at this point. I really don't spend too much money. I think the three most expensive things I own are my TV, my bed and my couch. So I'm going to keep it that way for a while."

You're very charming at this press conference. It's very nice to see you smile. You have a nice smile. A lot of times last season and the season before after games, we never saw that. You hardly spoke in mono syllables. You were curt and never smiled. Why have you changed?

CK: "It's not a change. To me, it's a different time, different place. In the offseason, we have the opportunity to talk and there is nothing on the line. In season, there is information that you can say, there's things that you can say that other teams might pick up on that might hurt you on the field, might hurt you for the next game. To me, I'm not going to give that information away."

So, you'll be that way again during the season? Are these two personalities, the "nice" Colin and the "difficult" Colin, and will we see the other one later on?

CK: "It's not ‘nice' and ‘difficult' Colin. It's a ‘short-and-sweet' Colin and someone that can be a little bit lengthier with their answers."

That's an interesting choice of socks you're wearing. Was that chosen this morning or are those special contract-signing socks?

CK: "No. I had these on before I found out. So, luck of the draw."

What do you have to say to the folks who are skeptical saying you haven't played 30 games, or started at 30 games? What do you say to those folks who are skeptical and a contract this big?

CK: "Well, I guess the only thing I can say is I'm going to work to try and make sure I'm worth every penny of this. I'm going to try to win as many games as possible and help this team win as many games as possible. And, I think that's something I feel like I can do."

Colin, I have a follow-up sock question. Where did you acquire those and what do they represent, if anything?

CK: "To be honest, one of my friends gave them to me, I think. He gave me a box of socks. No idea what brand or what company, but they were in my drawer."


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