Colin Kaepernick’s predictably chaotic weekend with the NFL showed us that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback doesn’t want to play football anymore. One of the league’s least accurate QBs during his final seasons as an active player, he only wants a contract if he’s a starter – and he knows that’s never going to happen.
After switching his workout venue at the last minute, Kaepernick ensured that any teams with only a passing curiosity in his services were not going to make the hour-long drive from the Atlanta Falcons facility to a nearby high school. With just eight teams in attendance, he reportedly received zero interest from any of them.
This isn’t surprising.
A few years ago, the Seattle Seahawks showed some interest in signing Kaepernick as a backup to the electrifying Russell Wilson. Talks broke down when it became clear that he wanted too much money for Pete Carroll to spend on a reserve QB.
In a nutshell, this incident explains the entire Colin Kaepernick situation. He only wants to play in the league as a starter; otherwise, he prefers to remain a martyr. Let’s not forget (as it seems practically everyone on the planet has) that John Elway offered him a contract, which he rejected.
Remove all the emotion from this situation, and you can’t dispute that Kaepernick’s time in the league was marked by one of the most dramatic declines in performance in recent memory.
From leading San Francisco to the Super Bowl to recording one of the NFL’s worst completion percentages, the story of Colin-Kaepernick-the-quarterback has been distorted by the media hype bubble surrounding his political activism.
It made more money for the newspapers to talk about kneeling than it did to talk about the interceptions, and it certainly proved lucrative for the NFL outcast. Nike would struggle to sell as many shoes if the prevailing dialogue had been “benched for Blaine Gabbert” rather than “benched for his beliefs.”
Colin Kaepernick is too big a star to sit on a bench in the NFL. He’s also too wealthy to put his health at risk for anything less than being a leading man. But if any of the 32 teams wanted him, he knows they would have already called.
Kaepernick played six seasons, and he never managed to complete more than 62% of his passes. To put this in context, struggling Mitchell Trubisky of the Chicago Bears currently holds a completion percentage in 2019 of 62.4%, tied for the best rate that Kaepernick had in his most accurate season. No team is going to employ a 32-year-old who was undeniably inaccurate at his best as anything more than an insurance policy.
Yes, the NFL is evolving into a dual-threat league, but in 2019 this means quarterbacks must be able to do literally everything.
Kaepernick is a dual-threat in the old sense, meaning he can run brilliantly with a strong arm and questionable passing instincts. He may have helped pave the way for Lamar Jackson, but he doesn’t deserve to play in the same league as the budding Ravens superstar.
Colin Kaepernick knows this, and he also knows that the recycled perception of an oppressed social justice martyr will keep his star shining far longer than an inauspicious return to the league as a QB3.