Colin Kaepernick – Blackballed or Washed Up?

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was very blunt regarding his opinion on the NFL and Colin Kaepernick: (Denver Post):

“Quarterbacks are usually the face of the franchise. So, he’s probably being blackballed,” Marshall said Tuesday. “Maybe part of it is owners don’t want their franchise tagged with that. But I still stand by what I said (on Twitter), that he’s the best quarterback in free agency. He’s better than all of those that got signed, the Matt Barkleys, the Nick Foleses. I think that’s a fair assessment, honestly.”

Brandon Marshall is a very good linebacker, but he really should stick to his day job, analysis seems out of his grasp.

Last year, Colin Kaepernick made the personal choice to kneel during the playing of our National Anthem. His stated reasons were to protest police brutality and the oppression of minorities everywhere. The public outrage was immediate and intense, lighting up social media and call in radio shows. Following the season, he’s made headlines again: (Sportschew.com):

Unfortunately, Colin has made headlines again more recently, but for all the wrong reasons. First, it was found out that he didn’t vote in this year’s election after preaching that everyone should do their part to produce change in the country. It was later discovered that he isn’t even registered to vote. His excuse was that it didn’t really matter who he voted for because the “whole system is oppressive”. And most recently, he’s been getting a lot of attention for wearing a shirt with Fidel Castro on it just 2 days after he died. What’s worse is that he did it while his team played in Miami, a city that has a very big Cuban population. When asked why he chose to wear the shirt, he said that he agreed with Castro’s stance on investing in education, universal healthcare and helping to end the apartheid in South Africa. He never once mentioned Castro’s heinous acts of oppression against his own people. How can he be against oppression and support an oppressor at the same time?

Kaepernick’s 2016 season was decidedly sub-par: (Wash Time)

He clearly isn’t the same quarterback who led the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2012. According to ESPN State & Information, Kaepernick ranks last in the NFL, among 35 qualified passers in off-target throws (22.6 percent) since the start of the 2015 season. His completion percentage ranks No. 32 at 59.1

Kaepernick is now a free agent, and at the moment there doesn’t seem to be interest from any NFL teams. (Pro Football Rumors):

Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL job and there is no sign of that changing in the immediate future. Apparently, teams are concerned about more than just his polarizing political views. One report from earlier this week indicated that Kaepernick is pushing for a chance to start and and a salary of $9MM or more. Soon after, there was conflicting word on the front. Whatever the case may be, it’s hard to see Kaepernick getting starter consideration or money. So far this offseason, we have yet to hear of any NFL team with interest.

But its not just controversy he stirs up, or his poor play over the last two seasons, Kaepernick has also been injured and his playing style doesn’t fit within many pro team’s offensive schemes: (Wash Times)

Not only is Kaepernick older (29) and more-worn (past surgeries on left shoulder, left knee and right thumb), the NFL has moved past the read-option scheme that made him wildly successful. Like Robert Griffin III — another 2012 sensation who’s looking for a job — Kaepernick’s skill-set hasn’t developed as quickly and seamlessly as teams would hope.

So, to recap: Controversial? Check. Suspect health? Check. Very poor recent performance? Check. Lacking pro-style QB experience? Check.

What owner in their right mind would willingly pursue Kaepernick? Professional sports is entertainment, if you watch pro football, someone is footing the bill. It’s the fans who drive the game, not the other way around. Why risk angering them over a less then elite QB?Not to mention, there are no guarantees he’ll even be successful, or stay healthy. As Al Davis use to say, “Just win baby!”, that’s the bottom line. Colin Kaepernick is not remotely close to a guaranteed winner.

But; give him his due, Kaepernick now seems to have found religion, promising to kneel if he is signed again. (Pro Football Talk)

After starting a national dialogue by refusing to stand during the national anthem last year, Colin Kaepernick plans to stand for the anthem this year. Kaepernick believes there has been positive change in America and doesn’t want to detract from that, so he’ll no longer kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2017, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.It’s hard not to be cynical and believe that Kaepernick is heading into free agency wanting to maximize his value and doesn’t want teams planning to bid on his services to view him as a distraction. Kneeling during the anthem wouldn’t preclude teams from signing him — plenty of other players refused to stand for the anthem last season and their teams were OK with it — but it could cause him to be viewed as a player who wouldn’t make a great face of a franchise.

Brandon Marshall is just talking for the pleasure of hearing his own voice. From a risk-reward scenario, it is no wonder Kaepernick is at home riding the pine.

About the author

Wm. P. Fitzhenry

5th generation Texan, 2nd generation reformed Presbyterian, a twin and a serial entrepreneur.

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