SAN FRANCISCO -- Team owner John York was among a group that included quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Vernon Davis who donned "49ers NFC West Championship" hats in the winning locker room.And several team employees were seen wearing T-shirts to celebrate the organization's return to the top of the division."It feels great," 49ers team presidentCEO Jed York said. "I don't know that it's sunk in for everybody, yet. But I (said to) the guys today, 'You know this isn't the last hat and T-shirt that I want.' There's a long way for us to go and there's a lot of work that we need to do if we want to get there."The last time there was this kind of interest to speak with York in the locker room following a game, he answered questions after the 49ers were officially eliminated from the playoff picture with one game remaining.York stood in the locker room after a loss to the St. Louis Rams. Just hours later, he would fire Mike Singletary as head coach. He would eventually hire Jim Harbaugh to a five-year, 25 million contract.York, who was a junior at Notre Dame the last time the 49ers won the NFC West, said he and Harbaugh did not discuss when he believed the 49ers would be able to turn the 6-10 team from a year ago into a playoff squad."When you start setting timelines and things like that, I don't believe that's a healthy relationship and a healthy form for success," York said. "What we wanted to do was to make sure that our general manager (Trent Baalke) and our head coach were on the same page and make sure that trickles down. I think that's where we are right now."But, again, there's a long way for us to go."One of the major offseason decisions was the club's willingness to bring back quarterback Alex Smith for a seventh season. Smith had his career-best passer rating of 142.3 on the day in which the 49ers clinched the division with a 10-2 record."When you have coach Harbaugh here and somebody believes in your quarterback, I support our coach," York said. "And he's been working with Alex like a coach should -- supporting his player and making sure he has every opportunity to be successful."York echoed the sentiment of several players, saying the division-clinching victory was not the end of the journey for this season's team."We won (with) a nice score today," York said. "There's still a lot of plays that we missed out there. There's still a lot of things that we need to do to get better, and that's what we have to instill in our guys."We haven't won anything, yet. We're two games behind the conference leader (Green Bay Packers) right now. There's a long way to go if you want to be the No. 1 seed. There are a lot of great teams in the NFC, and you have to keep your head down and keep working every day or else this doesn't mean anything."
General manager John Lynch confirmed during a radio interview that he and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan met with quarterback Colin Kaepernick at his office Wednesday morning at the team headquarters in Santa Clara.
“I would characterize it as just a really positive discussion,” Lynch said during an appearance on KNBR, confirming a CSNBayArea.com report the sides met for the first time since Lynch and Shanahan were hired in their new roles.
Lynch said he and Shanahan have committed to being completely honest with Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent as early as next week.
Lynch did not divulge the topics of conversation. He said a commitment was also made to Kaepernick to not speak publicly about the specifics of their conversations.
“I do think that there are some things that are sacred,” Lynch said. “We did have a great discussion and I think Colin left excited and we left excited.
“And I think as Kyle and I believe, the evaluation process is still very much fluid. We’ve only been on the job a couple of weeks and I can tell you we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who faces an uncertain future with the 49ers, visited team headquarters in Santa Clara on Wednesday morning, according to a league source.
Kaepernick was likely there to meet with 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan for the first time since they were hired to replace Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly.
On Feb. 9, Lynch said Kaepernick “reached out” to him shortly after he was hired as general manager. Lynch said he and Kaepernick planned on meeting in the near future.
Earlier this week, Lynch said he would have open and honest communication with Kaepernick about the club’s plan at the quarterback position.
“The one thing we will do very well with Kap is we’ll communicate,” Lynch said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game. “And I think that’s very important for both sides. Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking, as well.”
Kaepernick and the 49ers agreed to a restructured contract in October. The sides tore up the final four years of Kaepernick’s contract and replaced it with a deal that enables Kaepernick to opt out to become an unrestricted free agent in March. Kaepernick's non-guaranteed scheduled pay is $14.9 million for the 2017 season.
Kaepernick does not currently have agent representation, according to the NFL Players Association.
He started 11 games last season after replacing Blaine Gabbert in the starting lineup and bounced back with a solid statistical season. Kaepernick threw 16 touchdown passes and just four interceptions for a passer rating of 90.7. He also rushed for 468 yards and a career-best 6.8-yards per carry.