The clocking is ticking on Colin Kaepernick’s 2017 NFL season. As each day passes, fewer and fewer backup quarterback jobs are available.
If Kaepernick isn’t on a roster by the time training camp rolls around, he could potentially be an emergency call-up for a team in need of a quarterback, but those odds are slim.
More so than any other position, it’s difficult for quarterbacks to pick-up the playbook on the fly, and since Kaepernick has played in unconventional offenses, it could exacerbate his learning curve. Now it looks as if Kaepernick’s best chance at a job is fading.
The Seahawks appear to have moved on from their inquiry of Kaepernick.
From the Seattle Times:
Maybe the biggest personnel question hovering over the Seahawks right now — will the team sign Colin Kaepernick? — remains unresolved as OTAs began Tuesday. But Tuesday also brought a report that the answer could soon turn out to be no, and it came from someone who has as much of an in with the Seahawks as any media person out there — former NFL assistant coach and exec Pat Kirwan, who now works for SiriusXM NFL Radio. Kirwan reported on his show Tuesday and then later Tweeted that he does not expect the Seahawks to sign Kaepernick. Kirwan worked with Seattle coach Pete Carroll for five years with the New York Jets in the 1990s, including serving as the team’s salary cap analyst during Carroll’s one season as head coach there in 1994. In fact, he’s close enough with Carroll that when Carroll became coach of the Seahawks in 2010 there was speculation that Kirwan could be considered as the team’s general manager or at least as an assistant to the head coach (Carroll also later wrote the foreword for Kirwan’s book). So Kirwan would have reason to know.
[Kaepernick] would have to be paid at least $775,000 via the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement…But Kaepernick almost certainly would want more than just the minimum after making roughly $14 million per season under his old contract with the 49ers. While the Seahawks would like to bring in some competition for [backup quarterback Trevone] Boykin, they also don’t have a ton of salary cap room ($8.7 million according to OvertheCap.com). Boykin is due to make $545,000 this season and given that the hope is that a backup never plays — despite Wilson’s injuries of last season he has still not missed a start — the Seahawks would ideally pay as little as they can for that position. That Kaepernick remains unsigned has been the subject of increasing debate and the Seahawks are the first team he has visited since becoming a free agent three months ago, that also may not mean he will take the first offer of any kind that comes his way. The Seahawks can’t offer Kaepernick a shot at a starting job and as noted may not want to pay a whole more than the veteran minimum. Kaepernick might well decide to wait things out and see if injuries or other factors could compel other teams with better opportunities to become more interested down the road.
Kaepernick proponents will argue he’s being blackballed, but that doesn’t apply in this case. The Seattle Seahawks have a progressive owner (Paul Allen) and play in a progressive city in a progressive state.
If any team was going to be empathetic to Kaepernick, it was Seattle. In addition, he already has allies on the Seahawks’ roster in Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, and Jeremy Lane, who joined Kaepernick’s protest by also sitting during the National Anthem.
As mentioned in the article above, money is likely a factor in the decision.
Another thing to consider is Kaepernick’s presence could cause a rift in the locker room. Several Seahawks players, mostly on defense, have been publicly critical of starting quarterback Russell Wilson.
Some players feel Wilson is the golden boy who gets most of the praise (and little of the criticism) despite their stalwart defense being the engine for the team’s success.
A recent report detailed an incident from 2015 when Richard Sherman was so disgusted with Wilson’s performance during practice, he hurled the football at Wilson after intercepting one of his passes, which caused a big fight.
When taking this into consideration along with the fact Kaepernick already has players on the team who respect him, there is potential for locker-room dissension.
Kaepernick is in a precarious position. He needs to prove he can play solid football without being a distraction, but no team seems to be willing to take that gamble at the moment.