With all due respect to Adam Schefter and Jason Cole – two very good sports reporters – you must be warned: They’re not that good.

What’s that you say? Wasn’t it Schefter who broke the story three days ago that all the groundwork was in place for quarterback Colin Kaepernick to come to Denver? “San Francisco and Denver have the parameters of an agreement in principle on a trade for quarterback Colin Kaepernick,” he reported. Schefter knew that the deal was in place and he knew what was standing in the way.

And, by the same token, wasn’t it Cole who reported Monday that the deal was dead in the water? “Colin Kaepernick will not take pay cut, nor will team pay off part of deal to make trade happen. No deal with ‪#Broncos,” Cole tweeted.

Denver sighed. San Francisco might have. Maybe Chip Kelly, too.

Take another deep breath, everyone. If you think this is the last you’ve heard about this trade, or if you think either report means a doggone thing, you’d be wrong. Actually, you can thank both Schefter and Cole for your invitation behind the curtain. Believe it or not, you’ve got a front row seat to the NFL’s biggest current negotiation.

Neither Schefter nor Cole has the secret meeting rooms of the Broncos or 49ers bugged. Neither reporter has a staff of moles, secretaries or equipment managers keeping a watchful eye or an ear to the ground. They don’t have drones that come equipped with super-sensitive audio recording devices. It’s not that complicated.

They’ve got sources.

And “sources” – in this instance – can be defined as one of three camps: The Denver Broncos, The San Francisco 49ers, and Colin Kaepernick.

That’s who’s tellin’ whom what. There are no mysterious rogues out there.

You’d better believe that if information is getting out there, it’s because someone wants it there. In today’s high-paced, instantly public news and social media circus, that’s where negotiations are taking place. That’s where leverage is gained or lost. That’s where you can read the news, but you’d also better read between the lines.

My read?

Kaepernick will be the quarterback of the Denver Broncos when the 2016 season kicks off. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”

Cole reported that no trade will take place because Kaepernick wouldn’t take a pay cut, and that the Niners wouldn’t be willing to pick up the deficit that lies between what the quarterback is owed and what the Broncos say they can pay. Did you expect that someone from the Niners camp would alert the media that they would? Was Kaepernick going to tip his hand and say, “Geez, I don’t really need the money.”

Without having facts – or moles or drones or even “sources” – here’s what I believed happened.

As was reported by Eric Branch of SFGate.com, Kaepernick and Elway met. I believe that. Hell, I believe they’ve been meeting for some time. Clear back on Feb. 15, Mile High Sports reporter Robin Carlin reported that Kaepernick was on a plane to Denver; she pondered whether or not it meant anything pertaining to the Broncos.

Kaepernick wants to be Denver. Elway wants him in Denver. So, they worked out a plan, which is what Schefter reported. Why did he report it? Probably because Elway or Kaepernick, or someone very close to them, “leaked” the info. Make no mistake; that was intentional.

Why though?

Perhaps it was meant to put the pressure on San Francisco – as in, “Hey, if you want this to happen, the table is set. Oh, and by the way your quarterback isn’t happy there.”

Perhaps it was meant to put the pressure on Kaepernick – as in, “Hey, if you want to go to Denver, all you’ve got to do is restructure. Oh, and by the way, your team is already trying to figure out how to trade you.”

Note how the details of Schefter’s report outline very clearly all the numbers. That doesn’t happen unless someone very close to the situation – very close – wants it out there.

So, from Saturday on, it’s “out there.”

Well on Monday, the Niners countered with a leak of their own. Guess what? The Niners tell Jason Cole there’s no deal.

Why though?

Perhaps the Niners, who actually want this deal to work out (they’re so dysfunctional, but they haven’t exactly embraced Kaepernick of late), wanted to see how much pressure they could put on either Elway or Kaepernick. Basically, they wanted it known that they weren’t going to just lie down and die, picking up the $4.9 million of Kaepernick’s contract that would just make this whole drama go away.

Meanwhile, Kaepernick showed up to OTAs in San Fran. Why? Because if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to possibly collect $400,000 in the form of a workout bonus. Smart business, regardless of where he ultimately winds up. Denver’s Mike Klis even speculated that Kaepernick’s decision was tactical. A moment later he backed off, saying that the Broncos had been in a similar situation with Kyle Orton. Later yet, he pointed out that the Broncos have more options than just Kaepernick – they could draft someone still.

All of it’s true, but it’s a lot of chatter about one thing, and Klis isn’t going to report that stuff unless it’s coming from somewhere. Facts? Sure. Might the Broncos be posturing through Klis? Hey, it’s a possibility.

Isn’t everyone involved posturing, at least to some degree? Absolutely.

The more information that’s flying around, the more I believe this thing is imminent. Everybody – both teams and the quarterback – want the same thing. Like any negotiation, nobody wants to overpay and nobody wants to leave money on the table. When you want to test the other side, you walk away. You tell them, “The lot across the street might just be a better option.” We’ve all bought cars before; it’s not that hard to see what’s going on.

Especially when everybody involved is more than happy to tell the media. What’s happening can be read, at least between the lines.