Quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains apparently overqualified to be a backup, underqualified to be a starter, and ultimately unemployed. Two players from the team he nearly joined a year ago sounded off Tuesday regarding his man-without-a-team status.
“I think it’s crazy,” Broncos tight end Virgil Green told reporters. “Kap is a great quarterback. He is a smart quarterback. He is very competitive. It is kind of shocking that he is not on a team, but at the same time, there are a lot of different opinions and viewpoints out there, and they don’t all agree with Kap. It’s something that I think he has to deal with, but ultimately, I do think he should be a quarterback in the National Football League.”
Green opted not to elaborate on why Kaepernick isn’t signed, but at this point most who aren’t hiding behind flawed assumptions, half-truths, embellishments, and distortion of his abilities because they don’t like what he did one the sideline before games last season knows why he’s not working.
“Maybe the owners are scared of having that distraction on the team or maybe fans boycott the games, or whatever case it may be,” Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall told Vic Lombardi of Altitude Sports Network in Denver. “Honestly, if everybody really sat and looked at the reasons why he did it. He didn’t hurt nobody. They act like he hit his girlfriend or got a DUI or something like that. It’s almost like they’re shunning him worse than they do the people that get arrested, and I think it’s ridiculous. . . .
“Colin, he’s done so much for the community. He was named top 100 most influential person [by Time magazine]. I think, why wouldn’t you want that? That exhibits leadership.”
But what about the claim that he’s not good enough?
“He’s taken a team to a Super Bowl,” Marshall said. “He had 16 touchdowns, four interceptions on a terrible team last year. I saw something where he had a 90 passer rating, higher than Philip Rivers and Eli Manning. I see these stats and numbers, and you know they say numbers don’t lie, right? So I mean, what’s the real issue is the question.”
The real issue seems to be that teams that may have considered him to be the starter (like the Broncos, Browns, or the Jets) didn’t regard him to be good enough to overcome the perceived negative of having an agitator on the team. Right or wrong (and an argument could be made that Kaepernick would attract more fans than he’d alienate), having Kaepernick’s career on a stake sends a strong message to any other players who may be inclined to step out of line in the future.
Likewise, teams that may have considered Kaepernick to be the backup (like the Seahawks) don’t regard him to be bad enough to fit in the No. 2 or No. 3 spot, given the extra attention that necessarily will be foisted on the team. It could become a bit like Tebowmania, where Kaepernick fans stomp and shout for him to play if the starter in any way struggles.