The Colin Kaepernick Workout – Where Will He Land?

Colin Kaepernick

As you’re probably aware, the NFL is holding a private workout for Colin Kaepernick this coming Saturday in Atlanta.  All 32 teams are invited, and upwards of 20 teams are expected to have representatives in attendance.

As you’re probably also aware, Kaepernick has not played in an NFL game in almost 3 years.  In case you forgot, here is a snapshot of 32 year old Kaepernick’s career:

  • 1 Super Bowl appearance
  • 2 NFC Championship Game appearances (1 win)
  • 28-30 career regular season record
  • 4-2 career playoff record
  • 12,274 career passing yards
  • 2,300 career rushing yards
  • 72-30 career TD to INT ratio
  • 88.9 career passer rating

Yes, it’s been a few years, but that’s a pretty solid resume for only 58 career starts.

So, should Colin Kaepernick be back in the NFL?  I think the better question is, why shouldn’t he be?

If you are capable of doing so, set aside all of the off the field (and sideline) stuff, and focus just on football.  Let’s take a look at the backup quarterbacks in the NFL right now.  There are currently 47 backups on NFL rosters.  Here they are:

AJ McCarron
Alex Tanney
Blake Bortles
Brett Hundley
Brett Rypien
Brian Hoyer
Chad Henne
Chad Kelly
Chase Daniel
CJ Beathard
Cody Kessler
Colt McCoy

Cooper Rush
David Blough
David Fales
DeShone Kizer
Devlin Hodges
Dwayne Haskins
Easton Stick
Eli Manning
Gardner Minshew
Garrett Gilbert
Geno Smith
Jacob Dolegala

Jarrett Stidham
Jeff Driskell
Josh McCown
Josh Rosen
Joshua Dobbs
Marcus Mariota
Matt Barkley
Matt Moore
Matt Schaub
Mike Glennon
Nate Sudfeld
Nick Mullens

Paxton Lynch
Robert Griffin III
Ryan Finley
Ryan Griffin
Sean Mannion
Taysom Hill
Teddy Bridgewater
Tim Boyle
Trace McSorley
Tyrod Taylor
Will Grier

What do you think?  Are all 47 of those backups better than Kaepernick?  32 of these 47 backups are 2nd stringers, meaning they are 1 injury away from being a team’s starter.  In that scenario, how many on this list would you rather have as your starter over Kaepernick?  If you say 10, I think you’re lying to yourself.  Again, we’re talking purely football here.  For me, if Aaron Rodgers went down, there are only 3 on the list above I would want as my starter over Kaepernick.  That would be Eli Manning, Matt Moore, and Teddy Bridgewater.  That’s it.  You telling me you’d take 32 of those guys over him?  I don’t believe that.

Hell, there are potentially a half dozen starters in the NFL right now that Kaepernick would be an upgrade from.  Couldn’t you make an argument that Kaepernick is better than Mitchell Trubisky, Sam Darnold, Brandon Allen, Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, and Ryan Fitzpatrick?  And if not better, definitely not a big dropoff.  Also worth considering, his pricetag would be team-friendly as well.  That is important to teams.

So from a purely football standpoint, I think the answer is clear, yes, Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster.

Now the elephant in the room.  Is the distraction worth it?  That part is a little harder to figure out.  I know there are many fans that claim they will stop watching football, or boycott the NFL in some way if a team signs Kaepernick.  Why though?  Because you disagree with his cause, or disagree with how he protested the anthem?  You’re telling me that will really prevent you from watching football?  Bullshit.  Grandstand all you want, but you know that’s false.  Because if it were true, you wouldn’t be watching now…because last I checked, Eric Reid, Kenny Stills, and dozens of other players who protested the anthem are still in the NFL, and you’re still watching.  Even though Kaepernick was the face of the anthem protests, many, many others did the same thing.  Why would you watch the NFL when they’re in it, but not Kaepernick?  Why two standards?

Also worth noting, even with those players who did protest the anthem still in the League, did the NFL suffer?  Are revenues down?  Are attendance numbers down?  Have major sponsors pulled their money?  No, no, no, and no.  And they won’t if someone signs Kaepernick either.  Keep in mind, for every person who “claims” they will protest his signing, there will be others who do support his cause that will start watching.  There are a lot more people “on his side” than you’d think.  Those people include, I don’t know, perhaps the people he was raising awareness for.

I will also ask this – was what he did that bad anyway? As you look through history, there have been players that have done way, WAY worse things.  Greg Hardy assaulted his girlfriend and threw her onto a bed of guns...the Cowboys signed him.  Ty Cobb beat up and stomped on a handicapped guy that had no hands…he’s in the Hall of Fame.  Ray Lewis was (somehow) involved in a double-murder…he is beloved by most NFL fans.  Kobe Bryant was accused of raping a girl in a Colorado hotel room…a couple years later, his popularity was as high as ever.  My point is, what Kaepernick did with the protests and the collusion lawsuit, was it that horrible?  There are hundreds, ok, thousands of athletes that have done way worse…and were allowed to play.

I am not saying he’s going to be signed, come to a team, and take them to the Super Bowl.  I don’t believe he’s that good.  But good enough to be a backup on a decent team or fringe-starter on a lesser team.  Absolutely he is.  Remember, 7 years ago he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl, and just 3 years ago he (despite a 1-10 record as a starter) had a 16-4 TD to INT ratio and a 90.7 passer rating.  Like I said, he won’t be an elite starter by any means, but worthy of a backup spot?  No doubt about it.

And when he is signed, there will be all sorts of fake outrage, people will run to social media to tell everyone they’re no longer watching the NFL, they’re boycotting the sponsor’s products, etc…then about 3 weeks later, it will be a non-story and everything will be back to normal, and he will be just another backup quarterback.

Either way, sit back and enjoy the show, because the media circus the next week or so will be fun.  I personally am looking forward to it.

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