Colin Kaepernick still hasn’t been signed by an NFL team, partially because nobody wants a QB who has been bad at his job for three straight years, and also because two potentially big dominoes have yet to fall: Tony Romo and Jay Cutler.
Nevertheless, there’s this silly sentiment on social media that Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for his kneeling last year. (It has something to do with a comment Donald Trump, but now we’re putting stock in what the President says? Convenient.) Kaepernick said he won’t protest the National Anthem this year.
And now his one-time rival, Richard Sherman, is trying to advance this “blackballed” narrative. Here he was on First Take, Friday (fast-forward to 32:50):
Q: DO YOU THINK COLIN KAEPERNICK IS BEING BLACK BALLED by the NFL?
Richard Sherman: I’m sure he is … you see QBs who have never played at a high level, being signed by teams … Obviously he’s going to be in a backup role at this point … there was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year, and got signed the next year.
[Fast forward to 35:18]
Richard Sherman: You don’t have 32 starting-level QBs in this league. You have about eight elites. and then you have the rest of the league … [Kaepernick] could play and start on a ton of teams in this league. at his best, he’d probably be a starter on 20 teams in this league.
Huh. “About eight elites.”
Let’s start here: Before last season, before the kneeling, the 49ers essentially put Kaepernick on the market. They were willing to entertain trade offers. ONE team showed interest: The Denver Broncos. They talked with the 49ers about a trade, but it never happened. I can’t find a report that any of the other 31 teams nibbled.
Kaepernick played plenty in 2016, fumbled nine times, still completed 59 percent of his passes, and was near the bottom of the league in just about every statistical passing category. In short? He wasn’t good. For the 3rd straight season.
Now back to Sherman. Here are 20 teams in which Kaepernick would have absolutely no chance to start:
New England, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego (or whatever they’re going to be called), Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Carolina, Seattle, Arizona, and Los Angeles.
That’s 23 teams. It leaves nine teams with ugly QB situations.
Buffalo, New York Jets, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Denver, Minnesota, Chicago and San Francisco.
We can trim the list by one – San Francisco released him. So eight teams are in need of a QB. The Bills kept Tyrod Taylor. The Jets signed Josh McCown. The Browns traded for Brock Osweiler. Houston and Denver are waiting for Tony Romo. Jacksonville is still financially invested in Blake Bortles. The Vikings traded for Sam Bradford last year because of Teddy Bridgewater’s nasty injury. The Bears signed Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez.
And now you have to ask yourself the real question: If any of those eight bad teams signed Colin Kaepernick, he immediately would overshadow the starter in terms of media presence/spotlight. What coach wants that headache? This isn’t an individual sport like boxing where you can talk politics; you’re part of a 53-man team with one goal: Win the Super Bowl. No distractions.
Backup QBs are rarely heard from. They hold clipboards and they don’t talk to the media because, well, they are backups. But Kaepernick? He’s media gold. Mircophones will be in his face daily. Every sentence and action will be scrutinized.
This is Tim Tebow all over again. Nobody in the NFL wanted him to be their starting QB because he wasn’t good enough; nobody wanted him to be their backup because of the fanfare that came with him.