Social Justice Warriors are screeching for Colin Kaepernick to get a job.
They’re protesting and signing pledges for an NFL boycott, claiming the mediocre quarterback is being blackballed.
But multiple NFL executives just poked holes in their ridiculous assertion.
Three executives and a coach explained precisely why Kaepernick doesn’t have a job; and his newfound Marxist leanings have little to do with it.
From Sports Illustrated:
Executive 1: “It’s not something we discussed, so to talk about reasoning, we’re talking hypotheticals. … Certainly he’s good enough to be a backup. … But we have a good No. 2, a guy that fits our system that we have familiarity with. He’s here for the same reason that [Dolphins coach] Adam Gase goes back to [Jay] Cutler. We know exactly what we’re going to get from the guy.
Physically, Kaepernick’s more talented, but familiarity with a backup at that position, knowing exactly what you’re going to get, is more important than the ‘wow’ factor. … It’s like with [Robert Griffin III]; you had him playing a certain way, and he was a hell of a player. But as soon as defenses figured out what they were, and a specific way to play them, that’s where they had to be able to start to win from the pocket. If you can’t do that in this league, it’s tough.”
Executive 2: “From our end, it never got down to [going to the owner]. To me, the protests, all that, it wasn’t even a factor for us. It was the ability to fit within our offense. He doesn’t throw the ball great, he’s more of an on-the-move, zone-read type of quarterback. He needs to be in a specific system.
For us, it was a system thing. What he does well is totally outside what most teams do. And so here’s my question: I understand the Kaepernick deal, why it’s news, but nobody’s talking about RG3? I know since it’s Kaepernick, it’s what sells, but the problem that RG3 has getting a job is the same as Kaepernick for a lot of teams.”
Executive 3: “I don’t like the guy as a player. I don’t think he can play. I didn’t think he could play at Reno, I don’t think he can play now. … You don’t think if he was a good player, 20 teams would be lining up? … He’s inaccurate, inconsistent reading defenses. He needs everything to be perfect around him, and he needs to run a certain offense.
When he was rolling, they had an unbelievable defense and a great running game with an amazing offensive line. Everything was perfect. And you consider that, why isn’t there a debate about RG3? He just wasn’t a consideration.”
Coach: “No. 1, he was perfect for San Francisco. They were willing to build around him, which he needs. He’s not a pocket passer. So if you bring him in as a backup, and you’re not Seattle or Carolina, and you don’t have those things built in, it’s like you’re running a different offense with your 1s and your 2s.
Mike Shanahan had a great theory on this—he wanted to draft Russell Wilson [in 2012], because if something happened to Robert [Griffin], the transition would be clean and easy. So Kaepernick almost has to be in a place where they’ll build a system for him, and teams don’t do that for backups. That’s why his name never even came up here.”
I spoke with three other teams where top officials didn’t want to delve too far into the issue but lined up with the others—any discussion on signing Kaepernick didn’t get very far. One thing that also was clear was that different circumstances were at play in each situation.
Now, it’s not as if there aren’t schematic fits. Carolina and Seattle were the two that the coach above mentioned, and Kansas City is another one. The issues? The Panthers value Derek Anderson as a resource to Cam Newton. The Seahawks dealt with a lot of noise this offseason and didn’t need more. And the Chiefs have Alex Smith, and the history between him and Kaepernick makes even the thought a non-starter.
And there’s no question that the anthem protest is a factor here, to be clear. But as the football people I spoke to (and have spoken to for the past half-year) see it, and this sounds harsh, the protests are just a piece of a complicated picture for a player who simply was deemed not to be worth the trouble.
“There’s been a lot of noise about this, obviously,” said an AFC executive. “But at the end of the day, we’re part of the ultimate meritocracy. So if someone feels like this guy can help win games, he’ll be in the league.”
The “not worth the trouble” narrative is the most important. If the protest issue existed in a vacuum, Kaepernick might be on a team.
But then he insulted the police by wearing “pig” socks.
Then he wore a pro-Fidel Castro t-shirt. Then he compared cops to slave patrols. Then he insulted former players who offered sincere advice. Then he retweeted a harsh critique of one of the coaches who gave him a tryout.
— KnowYourRightsCamp (@yourrightscamp) June 5, 2017
Is a mediocre quarterback worth the trouble? It appears not.
One executive was willing to go on record about Kaepernick.
From Pro Football Talk:
Jaguars owner Shad Khan is one of the few NFL owners who will explicitly state that he’s willing to have Colin Kaepernick on his football team. But the guy who calls the shots in Jacksonville’s front office has already ruled out signing Kaepernick.
Jacksonville executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin said today that despite starting quarterback Blake Bortles struggling in the preseason, Coughlin never considered signing Kaepernick.
“No, I didn’t. We did the study and the research and we weren’t interested,” Coughlin.
NFL teams do extensive analysis of every single player in the league. Tom Coughlin and his front office weren’t interested after doing their due diligence.
So if Kaepernick is being blackballed, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan must not have gotten the memo.