With the Seahawks deciding not to add quarterback Colin Kaepernick as insurance against an injury to Russell Wilson that would keep him from playing, Wilson’s thoughts regarding the potential addition of Kaepernick are irrelevant. Wilson nevertheless was asked for them anyone on Friday.
“I haven’t had the chance to be around Colin too much, but the times I have he’s been great,” Wilson told reporters on Friday. “Obviously, I think first of all he’s a really, really good football player. He’s made a lot of good plays in a lot of big games and done a lot of good things. I have tons of respect for him in that way. And then in terms of everything else he stood for, I think he was trying to stand for the right things, he was trying to stand for equality. And so I respect that too, as well. . . . I wouldn’t have any issue at all. As many good players as we could have, the better.”
In theory, that makes sense. But what if the Seahawks were to add a backup quarterback who ultimately turns out to be better than the starter? If, for example, Tom Brady were available, Wilson wouldn’t be thrilled about that — regardless of what he’d say publicly before cramming “Go ‘Hawks!” in as parting shot.
While Kaepernick is no Tom Brady (even though the Kaepernick Truthers will now claim that I’ve compared Colin to #Tommy), the question becomes where Kaepernick fits on the Russell Wilson Threat Spectrum. With coach Pete Carroll declaring on Friday that Kaepernick is “a starter in this league” and with cornerback Richard Sherman (who reportedly barked at Wilson three Junes ago “you f–king suck!“) recently claiming that Kaepernick would start for “probably 20 of the team in this league,” it’s fair to wonder whether the Seahawks are worried that some in a divided locker room would align with Kaepernick over Wilson as the starter.
And so a team that embraces competition at every turn possibly doesn’t want to risk an organic quarterback competition between Wilson and Kaepernick. To do that, the Seahawks will instead roll the dice with the undrafted (and twice arrested) Trevone Boykin and ultimate journeyman Jake Heaps as the understudies to a man who played through serious ankle and knee injuries in 2016.
In most cities, the availability of a backup that the organization regards as a starter would result in the player being gobbled up faster than the last piece of pepperoni pizza. In Seattle, where some players think the starting quarterback isn’t held sufficiently accountable for his actual or perceived shortcomings, a competent backup quarterback could end up being the most popular guy in the locker room.