QB Colin Kaepernick will be opting out of the remainder of his contract with the 49ers, his agents informed the league on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapaport of NFL.com.
Kaepernick, 29, completed 196 of 331 passes for 2,241 yards while throwing 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 12 games for the 49ers last season.
He also rushed 69 times for 468 yards and two touchdowns.
Kaepernick had been benched midway through the 2015 season, and the 49ers explored trades for him last offseason.
The Jets reportedly expressed interest in trading for him at the time, and he was close to being dealt to the Broncos last April before the trade fell apart.
Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 69 games during his six-year career, which has been spent entirely with the 49ers.
The Jets currently have quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on the roster.
Matt Hevia, SNY.TV Twitter
From a purely a football perspective, bringing Kaepernick to the Jets isn't a bad idea. He's 29 and he's shown -- albeit for an awful team -- that he can still play. And, unlike Jay Cutler, he won't cost New York draft picks or players. Also, I think it's fair to say that he's got more (buzzword alert) upside than a guy like Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Sure, people had a different career trajectory in mind for Kaepernick after he took the Niners to a Super Bowl in his second year, but he didn't underachieve to the point where he became the Bay Area's Ryan Leaf. There's definitely some gas left in the tank.
Now, the sticky part. Will New York become too much of a ruckus for a Kaepernick-Jets marriage to work? I don't want to send anyone into shock, so sit down for this: he's an outspoken guy with lots of polarizing opinions. And here's another truth bomb: New Yorkers aren't quiet little lambs either, which could make his on-field play a footnote.
If you're the Jets, that's exactly the opposite of what you want to happen.
Plus, America's favorite purveyor of baby oil, Mr. Woody Johnson, is the President's ambassador to the United Kingdom. Would his political ties play a role in whether or not the Jets would acquire someone who openly disagrees with the state of the nation? Food for thought, I guess.
But again, when it comes to football, and only football, Kaepernick hits me as the most qualified free agent starting quarterback available to the Jets this offseason.