Ryan Tannehill left this morning’s Miami Dolphins practice with a non-contact injury. The severity is not yet clear. Current Fox analyst and former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s name has been floated as a possibility, though his interest in returning to the NFL is uncertain.
Colin Kaepernick is proven quarterback with a desire to play the position but without a team to lead. He may be the best option out there, talent-wise. There is, of course, the baggage — fair or not — he carries. Miami would be a particularly rough landing place for Kaepernick, by virtue of his favorable views on Fidel Castro.
He was booed lustily last year when the 49ers played the Dolphins in Miami. In a fiery column, the Herald’s Armando Salguero gave voice to some of the concerns, if not outright outrage, Kaepernick engendered in the Cuban-American community.
The very fact that Kaepernick remains a free agent speaks to the league-wide reticence to risk angering a fanbase. Setting aside fairness, this is the reality of the situation.
From the very start, some cities were going to be more receptive to a Kaepernick signing. A liberal-leaning Seattle made more sense on paper than, say, Kansas City. To this point, only Baltimore and the Seahawks have kicked the tires. Miami has the added obstacle of the Castro comments for Kaepernick to overcome, which can’t be ignored.
Again, forget about whether an owner should allow politics to influence roster management. That’s a far more debatable issue than if that is what’s been happening around the NFL when it comes to Kaepernick. If he is eventually signed somewhere, that franchise will be taking a risk.
Considering what we know about the public perception of Kaepernick in the area, the Miami Dolphins don’t seem like a franchise willing to take that risk right now. And if they do, it will be a uniquely tough sell to the hometown fans.