For months, General Managers in the media who think they know football because they cover it were happy to declare that quarterback Colin Kaepernick was unemployed based solely on merit. Those voices have become somewhat muted in the weeks since Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti made it clear that football reasons aren’t the only reasons for Kaepernick to not currently be playing football.
If there was any doubt regarding Kaepernick’s objective qualifications, consider the opinion of former 49ers and Washington G.M. Scot McCloughan, who has re-emerged in recent days on Twitter and who has been answering plenty of fan questions. A fan asked whether Kaepernick is good enough to be a starter this year, and McCloughan had a one-word answer: “Yes.”
McCloughan is hardly a slappy. He had key roles in building a near-championship 49ers team, a championship Seahawks team, and a better-than-they’ve-been-in-two-decades Washington team.
But, please, keep arguing that Kaepernick stinks. And, please, keep pointing to the fact that Kaepernick ranked 25th last year in the ridiculous, make-us-relevant QBR stat that ESPN concocted several years ago. Apart from the fact that the highest single-game QBR rating belonged to Charlie Batch for a 186-yard, two-pick performance before ESPN arbitrarily changed the parameters to conceal that particular humiliation, these quarterbacks were worse than Kaepernick under the QBR formulation for 2016: 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, and Ryan Tannehill.
Right or wrong, and based on the Commissioner’s recent comments the right answer may be “wrong,” it’s now clear that Kaepernick would have a job but for an anthem protest that others continue to do in 2017 and that Kaepernick through his representatives has vowed not to do in 2017. Which means that, for multiple months in 2017 someone was trying to push to the public something other than the truth.