Commentary: Why is Colin Kaepernick still without a job in the NFL?

Commentary: Why is Colin Kaepernick still without a job in the NFL?
June 01
04:55 2017

Last season, Colin Kaepernick embarked on a protest campaign that stretched beyond the NFL playing field.  His stance of kneeling during the national anthem before the start of games struck a cord on both sides. 

Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is currently looking for a job in the NFL. The baggage he carries with him may be the main reason for the lack of interest from teams.  His protest last season has been speculated as the main reason for teams staying away from him. 

His protest started at the beginning of the 2016 season, initially going unnoticed after the first game of the preseason.  Once it became public what he was doing, it became a national phenomenon, spanning from the NFL all the way down to the Pop Warner level and even into other sports.

Coming into the league Kaepernick was the second round pick of the 49ers in the 2011 draft.  He became the starter following an injury suffered by then starter Alex Smith.  That season he guided the 49ers to  their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994, losing to the Baltimore Ravens.  He followed that up the next year with a run to the NFC Championship game, losing to eventual champion Seattle Seahawks.

For the next three years, the 49ers team took a downward spiral and missed the playoffs each year.  He was the backup to start the season playing behind former first round pick Blaine Gabbert.  Kaepernick took over midway through the season and finished the year playing in 12 games with 2,241 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

He opted out of the final year of his reconstructed deal with the 49ers on March 3 of this year, making him a free agent.  With his solid credentials one would think that Kaepernick would have no problem finding a job in the league, possibly as a starter but definitely as a backup. He has received little to no interest from pretty much every team in the league, causing some to ask why.

Some players, including Seahawks Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman, have suggested that he has been blackballed by the league because of his protest last season, citing that other, less successful quarterbacks have found employment.

I agree. Quarterbacks such as Brian Hoyer, Nick Foles, Josh McCown, Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez have all signed deals this offseason.  None of these quarterbacks have the resume that Kaepernick has but have still found employment. 

I believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL based solely on the fact that less qualified signal callers have been signed. He has shown he has what it takes to lead a team

To be fair some critics of Kaepernick point to his last two seasons as a starter as to why he has not found a job.  In those years he has gone 3-16 with a subpar completion percentage of 59.8.  They neglect to point out those teams were void of talent on offense and defense as compared to his first two years as a starter.

Last week Kaepernick had a meeting with the Seahawks, a team many believe is the perfect landing spot for the quarterback because of his similar skill set to Seahawk starter Russell Wilson.  Many think this may be the only team to give him a shot especially with head coach Pete Carroll’s track record of bucking the system.

The benefit for the Seahawks is that with Kaepernick as the backup if Wilson were to go down with an injury they would not have to vary their offense too much as Kaepernick has the big arm and running ability similar to Wilson. 

Kaepernick has stated publicly that he is fine with being a backup in the league.  He has also not made any salary demands that may prevent teams from signing him as not to exceed the salary cap.   

We will all have to just sit back and play the waiting game to see if he will be signed but by the looks of the situation, it’s not looking good for Kaepernick.  Hopefully one owner or general manager will do the right thing and sign him, as he deserves a job playing in the NFL.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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