How does Colin Kaepernick view his future with the San Francisco 49ers? What does he think about this Sunday's regular season finale against the Seattle Seahawks?
Kaepernick touched on those topics and more in his media availability prior to Week 17.
Here are the key takeaways.
1. Winning still feels good at 2-13
San Francisco's joyous sideline after beating the Los Angeles Rams last week carried over into their Levi's® Stadium locker room. There were a lot of visible smiles from Kaepernick and his teammates on Tuesday.
"It's just always a different feeling coming off a win where you see what it takes to win, you see what you did right and you have things to build on going into this week," the quarterback said. "I think we have a good opportunity this week to come out, try and get another win."
The road win in Los Angeles was Kaepernick's first win as a starter since Oct. 18, 2015. Kaepernick threw for 266 yards with two touchdown passes, one touchdown run and scored the go-ahead two-point conversion against the Rams.
Kaepernick's road back to the win column included injuries, three surgeries, trade rumors and nine consecutive losses as the 49ers starter. The sixth-year pro said the 14-point comeback on the road reinforced his passion for winning.
"It had been a long time since we had that feeling," Kaepernick said. "And to get a win and get it that way, I think was huge for this team. It kind of sets a standard for us now that we can look at and say, 'OK, this is what it took for us to win this week. We have to hold ourselves to this standard and above.'"
Kaepernick didn't want to get into what the victory meant for him personally. Instead, he focused on what the win could do for the 49ers as a team.
"It got us one more win this year," he said. "For me, it was great to see our team continue to fight. We weren't in the best situation in the fourth quarter and to come out, put two drives together to get the win and see our defense make huge plays at the end of the game to allow us to win, I think this team sees what it's capable of and now we have that foundation to be able to build upon."2. Kap's only focus is on Week 17
Speculation about what Kaepernick will do after the season is purely that, speculation.
Kaepernick would not dive into topics like his future with the organization or potential offseason changes that have been rumored in the media.
"For us, looking ahead is Sunday," Kaepernick said. "So that's where our focus is right now. That's where all of our energy is going. We want to make sure we end this season right with a win and do everything this week to prepare for that."
When asked if he'd given any thought to Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks being his final game with the 49ers (Kaepernick can opt out of his renegotiated contract after the season), he simply pointed to the task at hand.
"My focus once again is this week, and making sure that I'm doing everything I can to prepare and to try to help my teammates prepare this week to get a win," Kaepernick said. "I think that's where this whole team's focus is."
Kaepernick was later asked if he had any interest in pursuing his interests outside the game and step away from football, but the 49ers quarterback said he will be playing next year.3. Beating Seattle could bring momentum into 2017
Kaepernick agreed with a reporter who asked if a win over the Seahawks would be beneficial for the 49ers in the upcoming year. Seattle has defeated the 49ers in six consecutive games. Kaepernick was San Francisco's starting signal-caller in 2013 when the 49ers last beat the Seahawks.
"When you're in a situation like this, how you finish the season can help set the foundation for next season," the quarterback said. "And that's what we have to be able to do this week is go out and get a win, leave on a positive note and have something to build on this offseason where we can improve and then come into next season ready to roll."4. Seattle's defense remains dangerous
The Seahawks have changed slightly on defense from Kaepernick's last start against the NFC West rival in 2015. The biggest difference is the absence of free safety Earl Thomas, who is out for the season with a broken left leg. Fourth-year pro Steven Terrell has replaced Thomas in the starting lineup. Seattle also features fifth-year pro DeShawn Shead as its starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.
"They've kept a lot of their core players," Kaepernick said. "You see a lot of similar faces, familiar faces on defense and they run their defense, they run it very well. They know exactly what they're doing over there and they're very successful. They win a lot of one-on-one matchups, things like that. So that's something that we have to be prepared for."
Seattle ranks second in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.9) and seventh in yards allowed per game (323.1).
The Seahawks defeated the 49ers, 38-17, in Week 3 with Blaine Gabbert under center.