There’s no doubt that the position of quarterback in the NFL is one of the most difficult positions to fill. Nevertheless, quarterback Colin Kaepernick finds himself unsigned after he chose to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers to become a free agent. Kaepernick has struggled as a pocket passer in recent years, despite leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2013 NFL season (and possibly coming within a power outage of winning the championship that year). His completion percentage remained below 60 percent in 2015 and 2016, and an injured left shoulder sustained in 2015 prompted then 49ers’ head coach Jim Tomsula to appoint Blaine Gabbert as the team’s starting quarterback.
While Kaepernick’s record has been an abysmal 11-24 since the 2013 Super Bowl season, his touchdown to interception ration of 41-19 during that span suggests that some team would sign him to a contract. Is it possible that reasons other than football are the reason that Kaepernick is still without a team? Last season, Kaepernick was widely criticized for refusing to stand for the national anthem before games. He did this as a form of protest against black oppression (most notably police brutality). Many called Kaepernick’s stance “un-American”, and some even issued death threats while ignoring that Kaepernick’s stance is protected by the first amendment. Keeping quiet and being grateful to make a multimillion dollar salary to play a child’s game wasn’t an option. What’s even funnier are the people that say Kaepernick should “find another way” to protest, but had no viable solution as to what he should have done.
That’s water under the bridge now. The first free agent quarterback signed was Mike Glennon, who signed a three year, $45 million contract with the Chicago Bears despite playing only two games in 2016. Apparently no team wants the public relations hit that comes with signing Kaepernick. It’s hard to imagine that there are 64 quarterbacks that are better than Kaepernick according to NFL Network analyst Michael Robinson. Considering that there are 32 NFL teams, are those teams really saying that Kaepernick isn’t even a backup quarterback at this juncture?
Kaepernick seems economically nonplussed by his current employment status. He has made a $50,000 donation to a social media campaign called Love Army for Somalia that is trying to raise $2 million for food and water to starving Somalians. Domestically, Kaepernick also donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, a program that President Donald Trump is cutting (which should make his supporters dependent on this program very happy). Maybe Kaepernick has found his calling in helping out the less fortunate in lieu of getting injured constantly on the football field.
It’s still early in the free agency period, as the NFL calendar year began March 2. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see if an NFL team decides to weather the PR hit that signing Kaepernick entails.