Before Colin Kaepernick inked what could turn out to be a six-year, $126 million dollar contract extension, he was at one time a backup quarterback out of Nevada, watching teammate and fellow quarterback Alex Smith guide the San Francisco 49ers into the postseason.
Smith of course suffered an injury, thrusting the unproven Kaepernick into the starting lineup – a spot he never relished as the 49ers ran with Kaepernick (literally) into the playoffs and eventually sent Smith packing to Kansas City, where ironically he’s now involved in his own contract extension talks.
But Kaepernick wasn’t about to forget about the mentoring he received from Smith, praising him (and his current teammates) for all they’ve done for him during his short though impressive career.
“I don’t think I would be at this point so quickly if (Alex Smith) hadn’t been such a great mentor to me and helped me along with things,” Kaepernick said at a Wednesday news conference to announce the deal. “I’m very grateful for my teammates as well. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
It was an extremely kind sentiment from Kaepernick, who didn’t have to publicly thank his former teammate but made sure to include him when he praised his current cast.
Smith himself hasn’t commented though I have a feeling we’ll be hearing from him eventually as the two seem to be incredibly cordial and friendly with each other, even though it was Kaepernick (though no fault of his own) who punched Smith’s ticket out of San Francisco.
Given all of that, great to see the two still have a strong relationship.