Back in 2011, the San Francisco 49ers (under new head coach Jim Harbaugh) used a second-round pick on an intriguing quarterback prospect named Colin Kaepernick. While veteran signal-caller Alex Smith (now with the Kansas City Chiefs) was still the team’s starter that year, the athletic prowess of the former University of Nevada prospect was hard to overlook. As a rookie, he played in only three games, attempted five passes and ran the ball on two occasions. That would change in his second NFL campaign.

Early that year, he saw spot duty as a running threat, and at times he was electrifying. Roughly midway through the season, Smith was sent to the sidelines with a concussion.

It opened the door for Kaepernick as a starter. He flashed his overall skills and rode a hot streak that saw him and the team land in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens. The Niners would come up short, 34-31, but the club was back in the NFC title game one year later – this time against the Seattle Seahawks.

A lot of history

Ah. The Seahawks. They have been one of the bigger albatrosses of the San Francisco 49ers and in particular, Kaepernick. The 2013 conference championship tilt would result in a 23-17 loss to the Niners. It was the first of seven consecutive losses to the ‘Hawks, a streak that continues to this day. Over that stretch, the six-year quarterback made seven starts against Pete Carroll’s team, and the numbers are sobering.

Including that playoff setback, Kaepernick owns a 1-7 record in eight starts against the Seahawks. He’s connected for four touchdown passes while being picked off nine times. There have been five fumbles (3 lost), and the young signal-caller has been sacked a combined 29 times. All told, the 49ers have scored a combined 88 points in those contests – a mere 11 points per game.

Why it will work

There’s a new regime in the Bay Area as the San Francisco 49ers look to bounce back from a 2-14 season. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are hoping to resurrect a team that has won a combined seven games the past two seasons. The club signed free-agent quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley and drafted Iowa’s C.J.

Beathard. But we have known for some time that Kaepernick would not be back to the Niners.

The Seahawks have shown recent interest him, and they need a backup for Russell Wilson. So why not bring in a player that they not only know well but have dominated personally? Since no team has had more answers for Kaepernick, it may be the franchise that can help him improve get his game back on track.

He comes off a 2016 season in which he got better as time unfolded. The talent is still there and perhaps Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell can help him rectify certain flaws. Simply put, it’s worth the gamble if you’re the defending NFC West champions.

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