SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Colin Kaepernick, one of the NFL’s most dynamic young quarterbacks, received a $126 million, six-year contract extension Wednesday that keeps him with the San Francisco 49ers through the 2020 season.
The deal includes $61 million in guaranteed money, a person with knowledge of the contract said.
The sides had made it a top priority to get a deal done before the start of training camp next month.
“They were able to get it done six weeks earlier than what I think everyone thought,” Kaepernick said. “I’m very excited to have it done at this point and we don’t have to worry about talks or anything like that moving forward.”
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Kaepernick, 26, had been due to make less than $1 million this season. Now, he becomes one of the league’s richest stars.
“I’m always striving to be in that group. An elite group in the NFL. Not necessarily pay, but as far as a player. Whatever comes along with that comes along with it,” Kaepernick said. “I’m very grateful for it. … I don’t think my motivation is money-driven.”
Since taking over the starting job from Alex Smith two years ago, Kaepernick led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl in 18 years after the 2012 season — losing by three points to Baltimore — and then to the NFC Championship Game last season, a three-point defeat to the rival and eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
A second-round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011, Kaepernick has thrived under former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh — and the coach has said how much he wants the mobile, strong-armed QB around for the long haul.
• In a departure from tradition, the NFL is scrapping the Roman numerals for the 50th Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 7, 2016, at the 49ers’ soon-to-open Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Instead of calling that game Super Bowl L, the league will refer to it as Super Bowl 50.
• Former Pro Bowl defender Marcellus Wiley added his name to a lawsuit accusing NFL teams of illegally dispensing powerful narcotics and other drugs to keep players on the field without regard for their long-term health.
• The NFL suspended New York Giants defensive back Jayron Hosley for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.