The Reality of the Colin Kaepernick Conundrum
We are coming up on the NFL season and Colin Kaepernick still finds himself without a job.
Chatter continues as the season approaches about whether or not he will find himself a spot on a roster. If you have been living under a rock, this whole controversy has to do with him kneeling during the national anthem last season.
His form of protest sparked controversy from day one because you just don’t “disrespect” the flag or the country by kneeling during the national anthem. While I have my thoughts on how and why he did it, I am not going to dive too far into that again. You can read that here…O Kaeptain My Kaeptain.
What I will say about this, no matter what side of the fence you lean on, protests do not generally come without controversy, at least not successful ones. I applaud him for not once crapping on the league and blaming anyone for why he can’t find a job.
His protest was ballsy to say the least. He likely knew he would piss many people off when he made the decision to kneel. People applaud soldiers for fighting for freedom…well this is the type of freedom they are fighting for. He has every right to do what he did.
The dude isn’t the anti-Christ because he knelt during a song. That is ultimately what it is. A song that many people pretend to respect because they are told to. How many of you text during the national anthem? How many of you talk during the national anthem? How many of you have worn a hat during the national anthem? Those are all considered disrespectful.
As someone who has been to many live sporting events over the years, I see it all the time. If you are one of these people and you are bitching about Kaepernick, isn’t it kind of the same thing?
Even in your homes, you probably watch the events on TV. Do you honestly stand while the national anthem plays on the TV? I highly doubt it. Again, same thing in my book. Maybe you’re not there in the flesh, but what difference does that make? The national anthem is playing and you are saying how much you should respect it. Practice what you preach.
We only care because that is what we have been told for years. We also only care when it pertains to our country.
I didn’t hear anyone screaming when Floyd Mayweather wrapped himself in the flag of Ireland. I would have hated to see what the narrative would have been if it were the other way around.
The kneeling got the ball moving on the conversation Kaepernick wanted. If you find it disrespectful, I won’t sit here and say you’re wrong. A lot of troops felt that way and I think we have to take that into consideration. Many troops applauded him and said that is what they were fighting for too. And no, he probably couldn’t go about it differently. Holding a press conference will do nothing. It would have been last week’s news before the week was up.
But in regards to Kaepernick, there are many layers to this discussion. The two most common things I hear from people are either…
Side A- He is too good to not have a job in the NFL.
Side B- He’s an awful quarterback. That is why he doesn’t have a job. It has nothing to do with him protesting.
The truth is, you are both so far wrong on this.
For the people who think he is too good to not have a job, first check out all 32 expected starters heading in to this season…
- Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer
- Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan
- Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco
- Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor
- Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton
- Chicago Bears – Mike Glennon/Mitchell Trubisky
- Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton
- Cleveland Browns – Brock Osweiler
- Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott
- Denver Broncos – Trevor Siemian
- Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford
- Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
- Houston Texans – Tom Savage/Deshaun Watson
- Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles
- Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Smith
- Los Angeles Chargers – Philip Rivers
- Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff
- Miami Dolphins – Jay Cutler (Ryan Tannehill Out For Season)
- Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater/Sam Bradford
- New England Patriots – Tom Brady
- New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees
- New York Giants – Eli Manning
- New York Jets – Josh McCown/Christian Hackenberg
- Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr
- Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
- San Francisco 49ers – Brian Hoyer/Matt Barkley
- Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston
- Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota
- Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins
The NFL crop of QBs right now is insane. Of the 32 teams, 25 of them are set with starting QBs that are either getting top dollar or the teams already have a young guy they have committed to long term.
The only teams that could realistically use an upgraded starter are the following…
The Bears have 1st round pick Trubisky who will likely be named the starter.
The Browns have a one-year rental in Osweiler, but I doubt they are looking to win now. They continue to pile up picks and have a ton of cap room until they find their next starting QB. They have to deal with enough issues for losing. The last thing they need is a QB controversy.
The Broncos seem fairly committed to trying the Lynch or Siemian experiment another year. Although, I think they are foolish for it.
The Texans just drafted Watson. This is also Texas. Fans may burn down the facilities if they even considered Kaepernick.
The Dolphins lost Tannehill for the year and resorted to Jay Fucking Cutler. This is one of the few teams who could seriously use Kaepernick. He is the best option they have. But no, they sign Jay Cutler. A friend brought up a great point about him wearing a Fidel Castro shirt and how that could turn into a nightmare.
The Jets suck either way and aren’t winning many games. They could absolutely use Kaepernick. They literally have NOTHING to lose. This is the biggest dumpster fire right now in the NFL.
He just left the 49ers. So that is unlikely. They would be better off with him than without him though.
People are looking at all the QBs signed this offseason and saying he’s better than this guy and that guy. You’re right he absolutely is.
The problem is no one wants a back up who is making noise in the media whether it is his fault or not. *Cough Tim Tebow Cough* No one wants him because of the media coverage. It is the same thing for Kaepernick. You’re not paying a back up to be a distraction. That is ultimately what would happen. He would be answering questions about the protest every week.
I think he knew that risk when he decided to protest. Would we be having this conversation if he was a top 10 quarterback? No. He would absolutely be signed because he could come in and win seven or eight games minimum and compete in the others. That is not the type of QB we are talking about here though.
However, the other side is saying he is not getting a look because he is not good. Yeah and my name isn’t Michael Hotard.
If you think this guy is awful and his protest has nothing to do with why he is out of work, your judgement is clouded by your emotions. You obviously despise the guy because of the protest.
Do I think he is a top 10? No. Absolutely not. I established that. He may not even be top 20. There are 10 teams who I can definitively say I would take him over than the current options.
He has made it to a Super Bowl and multiple NFC Championship games as a starter. Was the team around him great? Yeah it sure was. He also had the second best coach in all of football, Jim Harbaugh.
Nonetheless, he still made it there. He proved he can play on the bigger stages. When he took over for Alex Smith, people said he needed to make the Super Bowl or it was a bust. What did he do? Made it to the Super Bowl.
I saw someone share a meme about a 4 interception game he had with the caption “when people say he is a good quarterback.” You do realize Matt Ryan threw 5 ints in a game. No one is saying how bad Ryan is.
Kaepernick, with a dumpster fire of a team last year, managed to throw 16 TDs and only 4 INTs. Can you ever expect to put him in a complex offense or one that has him staying in the pocket? No, probably not.
But you can certainly use his skill set to make your team better. He is at his best when you can effectively run the zone read and allow him to make plays outside the pocket. The thing that has always enamored me with Kaepernick is his arm strength. He has a rocket for an arm. I have seen him time and time again make a throw and you think “how the hell did he do that?”
If you’re going to tell me that every team in the league is better off from a football standpoint without him, you are sorely mistaken.
If I were the Owner or GM of the Bears, Jets, Dolphins, Texans and Broncos, Kaepernick would have been on my pay roll a long time ago. The number one priority is to win football games. While I am not saying he is the best option, he is certainly better than Cutler, Glennon, Savage, Simian and whoever else is getting paid by those franchises. Worry about the damage control later.
Him not being signed has nothing to do with football. It has everything to do with the protest. It has everything to do with the fact not many teams NEED a starting quarterback. It has everything to do with the fact that no one wants to pay a back up who will draw attention away from the task at hand.
Part of making a strong protest is sacrifice. If that means his playing days are done, so be it. I applaud him for not being scared to stand up for what he believes in. As the great Dr. Martin Luther King said, “the day our lives end is the day we become silent about the things that matter.”