49ers' York talks Kap: 'This is a fresh start for everybody'

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49ers' York talks Kap: 'This is a fresh start for everybody'

The 49ers have hired their head coach and assembled their next staff. But the most intriguing question remains: Who will start under center in the Chip Kelly era?

Kelly, general manager Trent Baalke and CEO Jed York have mostly remained hush on the matter, but they've contributed tidbits here and there to the conversation.

Leading up to Super Bowl week, the latest came from York, who spoke with NFL Network's Rich Eisen on the 'Rich Esen Show'.

Eisen raised the idea of how good, in theory, quarterback Colin Kaepernick fits with Kelly and the system he runs.

York was then asked who he sees starting for the 49ers in 2016.

"I'm not going to decide who the starting quarterback is. That's our coach, and then the staff," York told Eisen on Thursday. "But I think the nice thing is we have the third-most salary cap room in the league, and everybody wants to make a big issue of, 'Well, you need to make a decision on Colin.' Etcetera, etcetera. We want Colin to get back healthy as soon as possible. We want to make sure that he's able to take the field whenever he's available.

[RELATED: Rival DC: Kap 'Freddy Krueger' scary in Kelly's offense]

"And we've all seen what Colin can do," the 49ers CEO added. "Taking us to a Super Bowl, an NFC Championship game the year after. He's had a great career here. Obviously last year wasn't a great year for any of us in red and gold.

"And I think Chip is going to be a great addition, not just for Kap, but for the rest of the team. I'm excited to see where it goes."

But the fact remains, after a 2-6 record to start the year, Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

Once healthy, could Kaepernick earn back his starting job?

"There's no question in my mind," York replied. "I've always had a very, very high opinion of Kap. Kap's a great kid, he's done a lot of great things for us. And again, this is a fresh start for everybody."

Baalke, the team's GM, addressed the quarterback situation earlier in the offseason, telling 95.7 The Game: "Well the future's bright (for Kaepernick). ...But we've got two guys. Blaine (Gabbert) stepped in and did some awfully good things. Obviously Colin has done a lot of good things through his career here. And Chip's looking forward to getting together with both of them, and getting them on the field, and putting them into his system, and going to work."

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”

Report: Free-agent Kaepernick to meet with Seahawks

Report: Free-agent Kaepernick to meet with Seahawks

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly flew to Seattle on Tuesday night and will meet with Seahawks officials on Wednesday.

Kaepernick and Austin Davis, who spent the past three seasons as a reserve quarterback with the Rams, Browns and Broncos, will visit with the Seahawks, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. It will be Kaepernick’s first visit to meet with a team since opting out of his 49ers contract in March to become an unrestricted free agent.

Kaepernick, 29, has likely not been signed for a variety of reasons, including his decision to kneel during the national anthem last season to protest racial inequality in America. His representatives have said Kaepernick will stand for the national anthem this season, as he continues to donate his time and money on programs to assist disadvantaged individuals.

The 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick, opting to add veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

Kaepernick, a second-round pick of the 49ers in 2011, played six seasons with the club. Beginning in the middle of the 2012 season, when then-starter Alex Smith originally left the lineup due to a concussion, Kaepernick started 58 games. The 49ers were 28-30 in games in which he started.

In the playoffs, the 49ers posted a 4-2 record with Kaepernick at quarterback, including a trip to Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013.

Kaepernick is coming off his best season since 2013, his first full year as a starter. He completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 90.7. He also rushed for 468 yards.

The Seahawks have three quarterbacks under contract. Russell Wilson is the starter and second-year player Trevone Boykin served as the backup last season. Jake Heaps, whom the Seahawks cut before the start of the 2016 regular season and spent less than a month on the practice squad, was re-signed in May.