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Colin Kaepernick Addresses Trade Request, Ready to Compete to be 49ers Starting Quarterback

Colin Kaepernick was open and honest when he met with the media on Thursday. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback even offered to extend his presser and answer additional questions.

The beginning of the 18-minute session focused on a wide variety of topics, including Kaepernick's request for a trade earlier in the offseason.

"Organizations, at the end of the season, go through and evaluate personnel and opportunities," Kaepernick said. "That's something that I sat down with my team and did the same thing. That's how we handled the business.

"We were looking at different opportunities. I don't want to get into specifics of what happened and why things happened. At this point, everything is football. I'm a 49er … and I'm excited about what's to come."

Kaepernick threw for 1,615 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions last season in nine games (eight starts). A shoulder injury ultimately landed him on the season-ending Injured Reserve List on Nov. 21.

Regardless, Kaepernick took full accountability for his play in 2015 and reiterated that his focus has shifted to what's ahead.

"To be perfectly blunt with you, I didn't play my best football last year," he said. "Injury or no injury, I wasn't playing my best football. That's something I'm excited about for this season, is being able to redeem myself, go out there, play well and prove to everyone what I'm capable of."

That rebound began this week with Kaepernick's participation in a mandatory minicamp, the grand finale of the team's offseason program. The three practices served as his first action of the spring after rehabbing from a trio of surgeries at the end of last season.

The plan was for Kaepernick to participate solely in individual drills. The quarterback ended up feeling good enough on Tuesday to play in 3-on-2 and 7-on-7 periods as well. That participation level remained the same on Wednesday and Thursday.

"It was nice to participate in that and get some live action against a defense," Kaepernick said. "I also had to keep in mind that I can't just jump back into everything and get out there and start going full-go. It's a balance of, 'What's the limit, and how far can I push things?'"

Kaepernick added that he expects to be back to full-strength come training camp. At that point, he'll join Blaine Gabbert in a competition to be the team's starting quarterback.

The coaching staff didn't provide either player with details of the position battle, only the message to be ready. 

"That's all I know how to do," Kaepernick said. "Every year that I've stepped on the field, it's been a competition. Whether people like to say you're the No. 1 or not, it's always a competition. There's always someone trying to be that starter and trying to make that step. This year is no different."

The quarterback admitted that he needs to gain "quite a bit" of weight before camp. That comes as little surprise as the rehab process kept Kaepernick from working out for much of the offseason. Kaepernick said that he's never had a problem adding weight and doesn't foresee that as being a problem.

He'll have more than a month and a half to make sure he's prepared when players report and the 2016 season officially arrives.

"I'm in a situation where I'm a little bit behind because I've been rehabbing and trying to get back to 100 percent," Kaepernick said. "At this point, there's a lot of work to be done."

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