Colin Kaepernick was the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers when they were at their best, playing in the NFC Championship game and knocking on the door to the Super Bowl. He then stuck with the team through poor head coaching changes and dropping to the worst record in the NFL. Just when it seems that the 49ers are working their way back with a good head coach in Kyle Shanahan - a man who was in the Super Bowl this past season - Colin Kaepernick has chosen to leave San Francisco.

The good years of Colin Kaepernick

The best years in the career of Colin Kaepernick came when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh was a former NFL quarterback and brought out the best in Kaepernick. In 2012-13, the 49ers made it to the NFC Championship twice, and Kaepernick was a big part of that. They missed the playoffs in 2014, but Kaepernick was still solid. In 2013-14, Kaepernick threw for 6,566 yards with 40 touchdowns and 18 interceptions while running for 1,163 yards and five touchdowns. He was a superstar.

The downfall of Colin Kaepernick

The San Francisco 49ers forced Jim Harbaugh out after the 2014 seasons, and Colin Kaepernick was never the same. Jim Tomsula took over as head coach, and the team won five games. Kaepernick lost his job to Blake Gabbert. In 2016, the 49ers hired Chip Kelly, and the team only won two games.

Kaepernick won back his starting job and played well despite the team's struggles, throwing 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Despite regaining his starting job, the 49ers lost their third head coach in three years.

Kyle Shanahan and a new day in San Francisco

The San Francisco 49ers fired Chip Kelly and then waited until after the Super Bowl to hire Atlanta Falcons' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to become their fourth head coach in four seasons.

He helped make Kirk Cousins a successful quarterback in Washington and guided Matt Ryan to the best year of his career. He has the skills to help Colin Kaepernick reach his potential, but it seems like Colin is finished in San Francisco. He could have remained under contract until 2020 but had the right to opt out this week, and he is doing so, entering a free agency period with some other big name quarterbacks.