The Seattle Seahawks signed Austin Davis to be Russell Wilson’s backup quarterback last week. That’s not that big a deal seeing as Wilson is a pretty durable QB and that his backups really do not play that much. And that is kind of an important fact in that Davis is a bad quarterback — so bad that not even the Texans have ever bothered to sign him to a contract. And seeing as how his NFL experience is almost nonexistent — he was on the Rams roster but didn’t play any games in 2012, played ten games for the Rams in 2014, and then just three games for the Browns in 2015.
Before signing Davis, the Seahawks brought in Colin Kaepernick for a visit, but opted against signing him to a contract. Kaepernick seems to be an ideal pickup for the Seahawks — he’s a mobile QB like Wilson who at times is more dangerous when he runs with the football than when he passes.
It should be pretty obvious that the reason Kaepernick is not under contract to any NFL team is that he took a political stand against the National Anthem last season, a move unpopular with conservative fans. But there are many NFL observers who are instead trying to convince people that Kaepernick is not paying the price for being politically active, but is instead unemployed because he is a bad quarterback.
Never mind that Kaepernick was four really bad play calls away from being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Never mind that the 49ers turned into a train wreck of a franchise, plowing through head coaches and offensive coordinators. Never mind that the team has been stripped of talent over the past several seasons.
One so-called NFL insider went on a rant last week and listed a large number of NFL backup quarterbacks better than Kaepernick. On that list were a few names that Texans fans should be familiar with, among them Brock Osweiler and Ryan Mallett (other names listed included Chad Henne, Gene Smith, Landry Jones and Matt Cassell).
These are Kaepernick’s numbers for last season: He completed 196 of 331 passes for 2,241 yards in 12 games, throwing 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Here are Osweiler’s numbers for last season: in 15 games he completed 301 of 510 passes and 2,957 yards. He did throw 15 touchdown passes, but he also threw 16 interceptions. Kaepernick didn’t have any players like DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller on his team last season. He had a bad offensive line, and the 49ers were lucky to win just two of 16 games. And despite everything that happened to him last season, Kaepernick never threw a hissy fit the way Osweiler did during a game last year (Ryan Mallett is also not known for his ability to get along with the program).
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Wade Wilson, the Cowboys quarterback coach, stated the obvious last week: Kaepernick is talented, but teams don’t want to deal with the baggage he brings to a team. The Cowboys didn't mind associating with the baggage of Greg Hardy, but he just beat up an ex-girlfriend. Dallas also doesn’t have a problem with the baggage of Ezekiel Elliott, who has been under investigation for assault.
Don’t forget that multiple NFL teams signed Michael Vick to contracts despite his jail time over animal abuse, or that Ray Lewis is worshipped despite being hampering a murder investigation. Then again, none of those players ever had the temerity to take a knee during the National Anthem in silent protest of police brutality.
Colin Kaepernick will likely end up as a backup on a bad team before the season is over. He will be humbled as the NFL owners will assert their power as a means of demonstrating to all players not to take any political positions that are controversial.
No person who watches football on a regular basis really believes that the Brock Osweilers and Ryan Malletts of the world are more talented players than Colin Kaepernick.