Why Colin Kaepernick Won’t Be Signed This Year

Photo courtesy of Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

And the Colin Kaepernick debate roars on. I want to end any speculation as to why Colin Kaepernick isn’t on an NFL roster right now. Obviously it has everything to do with his protests. I’m going to play my Switzerland card and remain neutral on the whole protest thing he’s got going on, and honestly I don’t care whether or not he makes a roster because I think the way I’m about to lay it out for you. Just look around the NFL right now. Who actually needs a quarterback?

There’s only a handful of teams that should consider Kaepernick. The most important question you need to ask yourself as an NFL GM signing Kaepernick is: Am I signing my starting quarterback? If the answer is no, you need to proceed with caution. If yes, and you think he can help you win games, then it shouldn’t matter. Clearly no team thinks Kaepernick is starter-worthy. Kaepernick’s baggage is way too heavy to handle for most teams as just a backup. Even if football fans were split 50/50 on Kaepernick and his situation (which they aren’t), I’d argue most GM’s and front office executives around the league would agree sitting him on the bench is not worth the distractions and publicity.

Unless you have a situation like the Jaguars potentially do. Blake Bortles has to be on a short leash this season. I believe Bortles is Mark Sanchez 2.0. Comes out guns blazing in 2015 and then he must have found a talent cliff and jumped off it. It’s also possible the Monstars stole his talent just like they did to MJ in Space Jam. But all jokes aside, is this even worth it for the Jaguars? They have Chad Henne as backup and he’s arguably a better starter than Bortles at this point. The best argument for Kaepernick to the Jaguars is that they’re thin at QB. It still boils down to the same question. Are the Jaguars signing their starting QB, or at the very least, someone that will compete this season for the spot? The Jaguars are in a unique situation as opposed to mostly every other team in the NFL. You could argue if Kaepernick was there at the beginning of preseason to fight for the starting gig with Henne and Bortles, that he could have edged them out. Sadly, that’s not the case. They aren’t going to sign him and make him a starter. At best he’d be their third stringer all year unless injuries arise because I have faith that if Bortles doesn’t get the job done, Henne will. The Jaguars are sneaky team this season and could upset a lot of teams if they feed Fournette and play good enough defense.

Kaepernick wears police pig socks as part of his protest
Photo courtesy of New York Post

The ever-revolving carousel of Quarterbacks in Cleveland seems like a pretty good fit for Kaepernick, right? Wrong. They have DeShone Kizer who they drafted out of Notre Dame with their 2nd round pick this year. If anything they’re going to let him run the show this season, and then we’re back to whole “is Kaepernick worth a backup spot” well, no. I’m sure he’s on the free agent list for the Browns right now but I doubt they’ll want to risk bringing any distraction to a locker room that desperately needs to be built from the ground up.

The 49ers could definitely use a quarterback but Kaepernick exercised his player option to decline their contract this offseason. It didn’t end nicely for Kaepernick in San Francisco. He was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert late last year and was probably going to be cut had he not declined his option.

The Texans, Broncos, Rams and Bears all have promising young Quarterbacks and plenty of depth. It doesn’t make sense for any of these teams to waste a roster spot on another QB despite the fact Kaepernick might help them win more games than they would with what they have. For some of these teams, winning is the opposite of what they’d like to do for draft rebuilding purposes.

The only teams left that could use a QB are the Jets and Colts. The Jets could easily be helped out with the addition of Kaepernick, but would they do it? Would they also think adding Kaepernick and getting maybe 3-4 wins instead of 0-2 wins this season is worth it? Probably not.

HOWEVER, let’s take a look at Kaepernick’s twitter profile. I mean, one glance and you’ll see how active he is. This tweet actually has nothing to do with his protests, but it shows his character prior to his protests which can play an important role when making roster decisions. But consider this, NFL owners donated around $8 million to Republican causes vs. almost $200,000 to Democratic ones over the past several years. For President Trump’s inauguration, NFL owners chipped in roughly $7 million of the $107 million that was raised. There were 7 owners that donated $1 million each, with Jaguars Shad Khan and Jets Woody Johnson being two of them. With that, the scenarios above become even less likely due to the fact Kaepernick is a stout Democrat that publicly criticizes the right-wing. This is not to demonize the owners nor Kaepernick. An NFL team is just like any other business. ESPN just had their own case of something like this with their anchor Jemele Hill. They distanced themselves from Hill and may ultimately end up firing her. They had to do the same thing with Curt Schilling when he criticized the political left-wing and then criticized ESPN. NFL teams with owners that oppose Kaepernick’s beliefs will simply not hire him. Some people can’t wrap their head around why that makes sense and is justified. Go ahead and put your political beliefs all over twitter then criticize the company you work for. Let me know how that works out for you.

So now it’s the Colts. The question they need to answer is, “If Andrew Luck was playing, do we make the playoffs?” That’s a tough question. I personally don’t think they do. They have the chance to maybe go 8-8 at best with Luck there, but without him, they’re easily at the bottom of the league with the Jets. Once again, it isn’t worth the trouble of signing Kaepernick and all his baggage for a couple wins and to still stink.

People want to know why Kaepernick isn’t signed? It isn’t all about talent. It’s situational to each team. The teams that have a need at QB have simply found alternative options that fit with what their goals for the season are. If you evaluate each team’s QB situation, you will see the issue with Kaepernick. It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis that each team has already done and we have seen their answers. Kaepernick is not going to be signed this year, barring injuries. That doesn’t mean it’s right, but that’s the way the world works.

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