Deferring to others the question of whether Colin Kaepernick and his 16 touchdown passes against four interceptions with 11 starts would have been a better choice for the Buccaneers than Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 12 touchdown passes against 17 interceptions with 11 starts, the question for now is whether the Buccaneers actively considered both players before signing Fitzpatrick. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, they did not.
And so the reported one-year, $3 million deal between the Bucs and the former Jets starter happened without Tampa Bay negotiating with Kaepernick as an alternative to Fitzpatrick, at $3 million or maybe even less. It’s for the Buccaneers to explain why they deemed Fitzpatrick to be a more desirable understudy to Winston than Kaepernick. A persuasive case could be made for either guy, depending on what the Buccaneers were looking for.
If the Bucs wanted to find a mentor for Winston, Fitzpatrick makes more sense. If the Bucs wanted a guy who will be in the best position to help the Bucs win games if Winston is hurt, Kaepernick may have made more sense.
Regardless, the Buccaneers made their choice without even using Kaepernick as leverage against Fitzpatrick.