The Seattle Seahawks know that they would be taking a risk by going into next season with Trevone Boykin as the primary backup to Russell Wilson. Though he didn’t miss a start in 2016, and hasn’t missed a start in his five-year career yet, including playoffs, Wilson missed some snaps last season and was in constant danger behind the offensive-line-which-cannot-protect. Boykin preformed well given the context, but he’d still be a major liability if he was called upon to start next season — and that’s before we consider his most recent run-in with the law.
Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III on the other hand, could both be poised to be among the top three backup QBs in the NFL next season. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Pete Carroll acknowledged on Monday that the Seahawks were still looking for help at quarterback, and that includes Kaepernick and RGIII.
"We're looking at everybody. We really are," Carroll said on 710 ESPN. "We've been tracking everything that's going on, and we've got cap and roster issues and stuff like that that we're still trying to manage properly. But quite frankly, yes, we are looking at all those guys."
As I wrote in February, there are a number of good reasons for Kaepernick to consider backing up Wilson in 2017:
A full season with no pressure or expectation to start or even play in a game
An excellent system to play in with myriad good weapons at his disposal
A chance to learn from Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson
A chance to redeem himself from “The Tip” and join the one team he’s always been awful against
Kaepernick is 2-7 against Seattle, including the famous NFC Championship game loss from which he’s never fully recovered. But he’s also an ideal fit in Darrell Bevell’s offense as a backup, even if he’s not half the passer that Wilson is. Kaepernick is still a better passer than Boykin, plus he has 58 career regular season starts under his belt with 2,300 career rushing yards and 85 total touchdowns. We aren’t talking about the Seahawks future at QB anymore, we’re talking about insurance should anything happen to Wilson, so there really isn’t anything to freak out about as far as, “What does this mean for the starting QB position?” or “I don’t really think he’s very good.”
He’s set to be a backup quarterback. I’d guess that about 90-95% of backup quarterbacks are not very good. There will be like 10 starters next seasons who aren’t very good. There aren’t 32 very good quarterbacks in the world. This is an opening for the backup job, and as a backup, Kaepernick would be very good.
As would Griffin.
A winner of the Offensive Rookie of the Year award over Wilson in 2012, Griffin is about 2.5 years younger than Kaepernick and is likely a better passer with more potential to re-gain stardom some day. I believe that because I don’t believe Kaepernick has ever been a good quarterback (he’s a great running threat and can make gains in the air if a defense is bad or becomes too lax because of Kap’s running ability) and RGIII was once one of the best in the NFL at age 22. However, Griffin’s career too turned for the worst in a playoff game against Seattle.
Except instead of a game-ending interception, Griffin suffered a potential career-ending knee injury in Washington’s wild card loss at home to the Seahawks in the 2012 season. He threw 20 touchdowns as a rookie and has thrown just 22 touchdowns (and 21 interceptions) in the four seasons since. Griffin’s 2016 season with the Cleveland Browns will be long forgotten, but so will Kurt Warner’s time with the New York Giants and he still went on to do great things for the Arizona Cardinals years later — a position that also started out as a backup role.
Though he falls in the “oft injured” category, I still prefer RGIII to Kaepernick, simply because he’s the younger, better player. Kaepernick is more reliable as a starter, but this isn’t about finding a player to start. This is about finding a player who can help you win 2-3 games if he has to make 2-3 starts. Perhaps RGIII’s destiny was always to be a backup, and the Seahawks seem an ideal fit for his skillset; after all, Carroll acknowledged back in 2012 that they were using the zone read option and basically borrowing from Washington’s playbook when Wilson’s career started to take off mid-rookie season.
It seems fair to assume that one or both of these guys could be brought in soon for a meeting and/or workout. Their chances of starting in 2017 are long and probably dead.
In transactions on Monday, the team waived QB Skyler Howard, FB Brandon Cottom, and signed WR Speedy Noil, FB Kyle Coleman.