Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the 2016 regular season finale against the Seattle Seahawks. Not coincidentally, 2016 was the year that he made global headlines for his protests against police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.
Kaepernick hasn’t even had an official team workout over the past four offseasons, but he twice met with the Seahawks in 2017 and 2018, only for nothing to materialize.
Head coach Pete Carroll met with reporters (virtually, of course) on Thursday and Kaepernick was the subject of several questions, including Carroll denying that Kaepernick potentially kneeling for the anthem was an issue when the 2018 workout was cancelled.
Carroll also expressed regret over Seattle not signing him, citing his belief that he was good enough to start and... well... the team had Russell Wilson.
“I thought at the time and just in our situation as a backup, I didn’t feel it was right at that time,’’ Carroll said (via Seattle Times). “So I had to make that football decision. It was about our team, and in the situation, we had our starting quarterback and all of that and it wasn’t going to be the open competitive situation because Russell is such a dominant figure and all that.’’
He expected another team to sign Kaepernick but as he put it, “it just didn’t happen.”
Maybe hope for Colin to return to an NFL roster isn’t completely lost. Carroll revealed that another team called him about Kaepernick, indicating that they may be some interest in possibly signing him.
“After all of the time — the years that have past, I never received a phone call about him. I never talked to another head coach about him. I never talked to anybody about him, until today,” Carroll said. “I got a phone call today, I won’t tell you who it was. I got a phone call today, asking and inquiring about the situation. I know somebody’s interested. We’ll see what happens with that.”
...But as far as the Seahawks being that landing spot for the 32-year-old? That looks unlikely.
Pete Carroll on potentially having Kap be the #Seahawks backup QB:— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) June 11, 2020
"I love our set-up right now."
Carroll is in on Geno Smith. He says that might change if Russell Wilson got hurt.
"He deserves to be playing."
As Seahawks beat writer Joe Fann notes, the story Carroll has told about how Kaep was effectively overqualified for the backup position doesn’t really make sense.
At this point it’s obvious why Kaepernick been out of the league, and it’s not because of his ability to play quarterback. With that said, as time has worn on I’ve been of the opinion that Kaepernick went from overrated by Ron Jaworski to appropriately rated as a very good if not great QB, to overrated again.
Kaepernick’s last truly good season was in 2013, when his QBR was nearly identical to Russell Wilson. His following three years ranged from mediocre to objectively awful, and his 2015 benching was absolutely justifiable after awful moments like this and this. Pointing to his low interception rate in 2016 ignores that his QBR was on par with Brock Osweiler and he had negative EPA on pass plays. If you want to defend his play from 2015-2016, the 49ers roster was a dumpster fire that looked a shell of what it once was under Jim Harbaugh.
But with all of that said, he deserves to be on an NFL roster and not for cheap PR purposes either. It’ll obviously be as a backup, and barring something dramatic, it won’t be with the Seahawks.