SEATTLE -- Wet and gray here more than 5 hours before kick-off and I presume it will only get wetter and grayer towards evening time. It's football weather, as Pete Carroll probably commanded.

  • News note: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Eagles almost acquired Colin Kaepernick for a 2nd-round pick during the 2012 draft but then pulled back when they thought they could draft Russell Wilson with a lower-round pick.

    When Seattle took Wilson 13 picks ahead of the Eagles' selection in the third, the Eagles grabbed Nick Foles instead -- yet another tie between Kaepernick and Wilson, heading into today's rather large tilt.

    My thought: Even though some already have, 49ers fans shouldn't reflexively blast the report thinking about how valuable Kaepernick is now.

    That's not the point. Go back in time: The 49ers—even Jim Harbaugh—didn't know Kaepernick would play like this right away and they had Alex Smith playing at a very high level, which makes a report like this very credible (maybe the 49ers weren't precisely ready to do that deal, but I would bet they had deep discussions about it).

    Remember, the 49ers had just come off of Harbaugh's first season, Smith had played terrifically, Kaepernick had finished a rookie season of not doing much (and I know it infuriates Kaepernick-loyalists when I say this, but no, he did not look good in practice for a lot of his first two years in the NFL)...

    But the 49ers also needed a turbo-boost at receiver and maybe had an extra QB who wasn't going to play much.

  • I wrote something about that possibility right after the 49ers' loss to the NY Giants in the NFC title game: If the 49ers are going to get an impact WR, they might have to deal Kaepernick to get him.

  • I've gotten ripped for this piece (back then and in retrospect) by Kaepernick-fans, and after Kaepernick's tremendous play it doesn't look smart, but oh well, the 49ers did think about it and maybe even took a long walk down that path. They didn't know Kaepernick would play like this.

  • They ended up drafting A.J. Jenkins in the first round, and I do not know what the 49ers would've done if they'd made the Eagles trade.

    So, back in the 2012 off-season, the 49ers were committed to Smith, and sorta not-so-committed to Smith. (Remember the Peyton Manning skull-duggery in March of that year, while the 49ers also were negotiating to re-sign Smith. What fun!)

    And Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke were also committed to Kaepernick's potential, though they did not yet know when or how that would be unleashed on anybody... because they had Smith, and they were chasing Manning.

    I think Harbaugh and Baalke were going back and forth on the QB matter—a position Baalke largely leaves up to Harbaugh (wisely), but at some point, assuming they had double-value at one position, I'm sure the 49ers began to explore what they could get for Kaepernick, if they believed Smith was a long-term playoff QB.

    Yes, there was a lot going on with the 49ers QBs in 2012 off-season. Maybe more than even the most suspicious of us could properly imagine or report.

    And it gives further credence to the note that the 49ers really, really, really didn't know what would happen when Smith got hurt and Kaepernick jumped into the fray in the middle of last year.

    Even after Kaepernick was very good for two weeks, it was a very close call whether he or Smith should get the start once Smith was cleared and had practice time.

    It was a pure gut call to stay with Kaepernick, with lots of back story leading up to it, and Harbaugh absolutely made the correct one, to his full credit.

    And I think it's rather interesting that Harbaugh went out of his way last week to say what a great pick Kaepernick was in the 2011 draft... when Harbaugh was actually being asked about Anquan Boldin.

    A lot going on. As always.