President says Colin Kaepernick “wasn’t playing up to snuff”

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For the second time in less than a year, the President has said publicly that he has no issue with Colin Kaepernick playing in the NFL, as long as Kaepernick deserves it. And in explaining that caveat, Donald Trump implies that football reasons, and only football reasons, have kept Kaepernick out.

If he deserves it, he should,” Trump told Scott Thuman of ABC7 regarding Kaepernick’s potential place on an NFL franchise. But then Trump added this: “If he has the playing ability. He started off great and then he didn’t end up very great in terms as a player.”

The Commander-in-Chief then takes a swing at being a football evaluator.

“He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year and then something happened,” Trump said.

Actually, Kaepernick didn’t play at all as a rookie. In his second year, he became the starter after Alex Smith suffered a concussion. Kaepernick then nearly led the 49ers to a Super Bowl win. Kaepernick played very well in his third season, earning a significant second contract in June 2014.

Then came a three-year revolving door for the 49ers and Kaepernick, with Jim Harbaugh’s tumultuous last year followed by the only year of Jim Tomsula (who never should have been the head coach) and the only year of Chip Kelly (who never should have been the head coach). Kaepernick emerged from the Tomsula debacle with injuries that required three different surgeries, Kaepernick wasn’t physically ready for the start of the 2016 season, and when he was healthy he replaced Blaine Gabbert and started 11 games. After the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan, the new regime decided that Kaepernick didn’t fit the offense, and if he hadn’t opted out of his contract the 49ers would have cut him.

“[H]is playing wasn’t up to snuff,” Trump nevertheless said of Kaepernick. “The answer is absolutely I would, as far as kneeling, I would love to see him get another shot. But obviously, he has to be able to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair.”

The notion that Kaepernick isn’t good enough to be on a team isn’t good enough to explain three years of unemployment. The league shunned him in 2017, and the President’s “son-of-a-bitch” assault on kneelers guaranteed that the cold shoulder would continue. Only now, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, does the ice seem to be thawing on the possibility of Kaepernick getting a chance to return as a backup.

This isn’t the first time Trump has said something like this.

Only if he’s good enough,” Trump said of Kaepernick in August 2019 during one of his South Lawn pre-Marine One press conferences. “If he’s good enough. . . . And I think if he was good enough, I know the owners, I know Bob Kraft, I know so many of the owners. If he’s good enough, they’d sign him. So if he’s good enough — I know these people — they would sign him in a heartbeat. They will do anything they can to win games.”

So, basically, the President is trying to help the NFL make its collective case that Kaepernick hasn’t had a job because he doesn’t deserve one, not because he wrongfully has been denied one. To the extent the NFL wants to break with the man who continues to bristle at kneeling during the anthem as “disrespect” of all things Americans, signing Kaepernick would be the ultimate way to show that the belief that Kaepernick isn’t “up to snuff” isn’t “up to snuff.”

74 responses to “President says Colin Kaepernick “wasn’t playing up to snuff”

  1. Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

  2. I know the answer to this question is that people will say they are not, BUT, if you voted for this guy you should really be ashamed of yourself.

  3. When Kaepernick quit playing in 2016, Anquan Boldin and others publicly criticized Kaepernick for playing poorly.

  4. So what’s the argument here? That he should be given a job even if he doesn’t deserve it based on his playing ability? I’m not sure how you can disagree with anything Trump said here, but I know people will find a way.

  5. The truth is a bitter friend

    If Colin had Aaron Rodgers’ talent he would have never missed a game

  6. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says:
    June 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    9 10 Rate This
    ____________________________________________________

    Trent Dilfer says hello.

  7. Not true. He had a 90 QB rating w/ 16 TDs vs 4 Ints. (on a bad team) He should be playing and starting on several teams.

  8. Forty-Five commenting on Kap…because, it’s not like he’s got anything else on his plate currently.

  9. Well, if no team signs Kap now then we know he sucks. If a team does sign him then we will get the chance to see for ourselves if he still has anything in the tank.

    My guess is that no team will be able to “come to terms “ with him because he will want more than Dak. If he is willing to sign a one year contract for the vet minimum then maybe he gets his shot.

  10. Don’t tell me Kaepernick isn’t good enough to play and then try to justify why Nathan Peterman still has a job. Peterman once threw FIVE interception in HALF a game. Kaepernick has never thrown 3 (or more) in an entire game only three times in his career (as far as I can tell).

  11. blkdogcreative says:
    June 17, 2020 at 5:14 pm
    Not true. He had a 90 QB rating w/ 16 TDs vs 4 Ints. (on a bad team) He should be playing and starting on several teams.

    Kaep’s own teammates were publicly criticizing him for poor play during the 2016 season.

  12. OBP says:
    June 17, 2020 at 5:10 pm
    lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says:
    June 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    9 10 Rate This
    ____________________________________________________

    Trent Dilfer says hello.

    So does Rex grossman

  13. “The Commander-in-Chief then takes a swing at being a football evaluator.”

    So?…..Is this observation supposed to mean something?….I’d venture to say that every person who visits this site, as well the writers of this site, consider themselves to be somewhat of a football evaluator.

  14. “I think he was something like 1-10 in his last 11 games.”

    So was Nathan Peterman, Mike Glennon, Geno Smith, etc. And they’ve been scrubs since Day 1. Hey thanks for playing.

  15. Regardless of his stance, he deserved a chance to compete for a roster spot over the course of the past few years.

    In a league where retreads are able to get compensated nicely for adequate backup work, he should have been employed. If he does get signed, he needs to know that the bar will be set for him to a) succeed and be the feel good story of the NFL season b) struggle and prove the naysayers correct or c) struggle and have built in excuses as to why he is struggling.

    His stance was an divisive, unpopular one and that in turn, lead teams to avoid wanting to bring the “circus to town”. The circus will follow whatever team that signs him and they have to ask themselves, “was it worth it”?

  16. Here goes a riddle…Mike Glennon. Here is another riddle Mitchell Trubisky. Want the greatest riddle ever…MATT SCHAUB. Have another riddle just in case those don’t make you laugh…Geno Smith. How about Colt McCoy. How about a retro riddle from a year ago…Marc Sanchez. We can do this all day.

  17. Some of you are going a little overboard trying to defend what Trump said. I think we can all safely say if Kaepernick didn’t deserve to be a starter he was at least good enough to be a backup on a team. Especially the way the quarterback position is going in recent years he is a good fit for many offenses. It is a joke to say otherwise, just look at quarterback rosters around the league.

  18. His last season he was coming off three surgeries that left him 30 pounds lighter and with a weak arm from the shoulder surgery… His QBR that year would have landed him 21st last year… He is now healthy and gained his playing weight back… and he is still better than a few of the starting QB’s in the league right now.

  19. people keep naming other qbs in the league like nathan peterman, geno smith etc. Kaep made it clear in the beginning of all this that he didn’t want to be a backup. And the “He played in a superbowl” thing is just as ignorant. Hes not talented enough to be a starting qb

  20. Does anyone know how Joe Flacco is still in the league since we are all being “fair” here. How is Nathan Peterman still in the nfl? Peterman once threw more yards and tds to the other team than his own when Peterman was in buffalo. How is Matt Schaub still in the league? Schaub once threw pick 6s in 7 straight games. Nobody can name a pro bowler from that 2016 niners team Kaep played on. You might catch a stroke trying to convince someone that Blaine Gabbert was a better option. Why is Gabbet still in the league..what about Blake Bortles. Some of you need to realize that red maga hat clashes with your team colors. Be smart.

  21. I would love to see him get another shot. But obviously, he has to be able to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair.”
    ——
    Can’t believe I’m about to type this, but I agree with Donald Trump.

  22. He sucked and lost his job to Blaine Gabbert. Then he opted out of a $13 million dollar contact. Then he turned down 4 offers because they weren’t $20 mil a year. Then just last year the NFL gives him a tryout in front of scouts then he at the last minute backs out to hold his own work out at some random high school.

  23. Mark Rypien, Earl Morrall, Rex Grossman, Jeff Hostetler,David Woodley, Trent Dilfer, Tony Eason…………….proof the “he started in a Superbowl” argument is trash…

  24. To anyone naming QBs like Geno, Mitch, Schaub etc… they all have one thing in common… SLIGHTLY less skill than Kaep but they all accept that they are backups where Kaep refuses to and none are a distraction (with given the hoards of reporters and questions EVERY player would have to deal with given his presence…)

  25. Of course Kaepernick, if he wants, is good enough to get on a roster in this league. There is a lot of really bad QB out there. He is better, more ready to play than any backup to Burrow in Cincy, I know that for a fact.

    Those that say he doesn’t have the skill to be in the NFL are just lying and have a different agenda.

    He’ll have to prove he can start after such a long time off though.

  26. The reason kap doesn’t have a job is because hes not good enough to warrant the attention he brings to a team.

    sure he is prob better than a peterman or a geno, etc, but those guys arent bring a distraction that having a high profile person around the team brings, and hes not that much better at this stage than those guys.

  27. Kap has enough talent to be a backup QB. His issue is no team wants the distractionS he brings. If he can really take a team to the Super Bowl then he will find a spot.

  28. Curtis35w makes a good point with one amendment: Mark Rypien was the Super Bowl MVP. And his 1991 season was truly phenomenal as the Redskins set an NFL scoring record that year and Ryp nearly won the NFL Season MVP award. He was Super Bowl hero and should not be lumped in with the Rex Grossmans and Tony Easons of the world.

  29. Kap’s QBR last two years was 49 and 43.
    He was bad. A one year wonder that once the league figured him out, he couldn’t produce anymore.

  30. ishudbgm says:
    June 17, 2020 at 5:53 pm
    Does anyone know how Joe Flacco is still in the league since we are all being “fair” here. How is Nathan Peterman still in the nfl?
    ————————
    I would bet that neither of them Demanded being paid 20 million a year.

  31. There is probably only 1 qb in the league that could handle Kap as the backup. This would include the media circus that would follow.

    Tom Brady.

  32. Let him play – and prove to everyone once and for all that he is nowhere near the QB he, his agent, and his supporters think he is.

  33. “After the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan, the new regime decided that Kaepernick didn’t fit the offense, and if he hadn’t opted out of his contract the 49ers would have cut him.”

    If your QB is good, you adapt your offense. He opted out to get a head start on free agency so he could ca$h in big. But I know, it’s everyone else’s fault.

  34. Both Kaepernick not being good enough and Kaepernick being blackballed can be true. People dont need to hold one belief as false in order to believe the other to be true.

  35. Trump is 100% correct. I’m a 9er fan and once DC’s figured out the read-option he became a one read then run QB. He went 3-16 his last 2 years as a starter. He lost his job to Blaine freaking Gabbert. And then, only THEN did he start kneeling.
    At this point I hope he comes back so everyone sees why he’s been out of the league.

  36. Don’t agree with much Trump says but he is right that Kapernick isn’t and wasn’t good enough anymore. Caveat being “with all that comes with him”…. Kap had a unique talent that fit a particular team at a particular time(49ers\Harbaugh). But with his age, cost, off-field….no plug and play fit. You would have to complete tailor offense and defense to him. You don’t do that for older backups.

  37. If you are objective, then you will see that the statement is true. I remember watching Kaepernick play QB in the last year against Chicago in Chicago. It was snowing. That game was THE worst game I’ve ever seen a QB play. Kaepernick was a one trick pony who lost his job to Blaine Gabbert of all people. Once defenses figured out that Kaepernick couldn’t read a pee wee football defense, they all adjusted and he looked horrible after that.

  38. If kaepernick won’t take a league minimum salary offer, then everyone is wasting their time. That’s all he would get.

  39. People like to criticize and disagree with anything he says, just because of who he is, but nobody can argue it here. He’s right. Being benched for Blaine Gabbert is about as “not up to snuff” as it gets.

  40. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says:
    June 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    ———

    Trent Dilfer and Rex Freakin’ Grossman would like a word with you. Even they know they had nothing to do with their teams making it to the Super Bowl.

  41. Alex Smith was in the league 6 years before Kaepernick, and he will be in the league six years after Kaep.

    Because Alex Smith works hard, and isn’t a d-bag.

  42. Data says he is decent enough to get a job. You have to include is rushing yards and tds. He had 500yds rushing and 2 tds plus 16 passing tds and 4 ints. So 254 yds with a decent td in ratio better than a lot of players in the nfl.

  43. Lots of willful ignorance here…lots of emotion without rationality.

    The fact is if Geno Smith is good enough(he’s bad) to be Seattle’s backup QB then Kaep is certainly good enough to be in the league.

    Trying to talk about his play being the issue is just trying to pretend it wasn’t about his protest and people being racist and/or politically bent. Distractions…lies…dog whistles…

  44. People probably think kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful because it is disrespectful.

  45. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says:

    Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    ***********************************************************

    Jim McMahon want an explanation

  46. Dude….why don’t you worry about the country. Focus on the things that matter!!!
    ———————–

    Someone asked the question. I don’t think he just dropped what he was doing to go stick his nose in football. But if he responded with “I have better things to deal with” then that would be a sour taste too. LOL

  47. Country facing thousands of deaths due to pandemic, civil unrest, North Korea acting up, China acting up and Yhe President is. concerned about Kaepernick?

  48. Kaep’s last season as a starter was 1-10, after starting for 5 full seasons including a trip to the Super Bowl. Gardner Minshew started 12 games last year as a rookie and went 6-6. Both had terrible rosters. The big difference is that Minshew elevated the players around him by getting the ball downfield, while Kaep made one read and took off running.

    The main point is Kaep’s style no longer works in the NFL. Kaep isn’t a good enough passer to be anything other than a practice squad QB in the passing-heavy NFL of today.

  49. If any of you think he will get a job before Cam, you are smoking something. Since they are increasing the practice squads to 16 players most likely that is where he will end up. The teams are pretty much set at this point.

  50. In my fifteen months of following this site, I think it’s fair to say that the President’s eye for judging quarterback talent is comparable to most – lousy.

  51. mentallywoozy says:
    June 17, 2020 at 7:09 pm
    Both Kaepernick not being good enough and Kaepernick being blackballed can be true. People dont need to hold one belief as false in order to believe the other to be true.
    ——————————-

    He was already overpriced benchmeat on his way out when he started protesting. His team was trying to unload his contract and not getting takers and a cut was already the obvious next step before any protesting ever started. Protesting or not he was already in the process of leaving football. So really the protest had nothing to do with him being out of football, it just made it harder for his team to proceed with the cut, he actually got himself an extra couple months employment by making his firing about something it wasnt. Oh, and this was how many years ago now?

  52. Primadonna is on line one; says he’s a starting quarterback and should be paid like one.

  53. mentallywoozy says:
    June 17, 2020 at 7:09 pm
    Both Kaepernick not being good enough and Kaepernick being blackballed can be true. People dont need to hold one belief as false in order to believe the other to be true.

    =========================================================================================

    This is a very mature way of looking at it. It IS a mix of both. Absent of the kneeling controversy, there is little doubt that he would have found work. However, unless he was playing at an MVP or Pro Bowl level (which admittedly, he wasn’t during the period he was “blackballed”), then the media firestorm and distraction that signing him would bring is just not worth it. So yes, I think you’re right when you say it is a combo of his performance against the distraction cost of signing him. The good news is that he’ll likely find a place on a roster this time around, and we can all shut up and move toward being better humans to one another.

  54. Kap wants to be a starter. He’s certainly good enough to be a backup. But to be a starter you have to beat out other QBs on a team. So far no team wants to give him a starting job.

  55. Remember when the NFL made a special event for Kap to hold tryouts and he never showed up?

  56. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says:
    June 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    ====================================

    He never said he was god-awful. And any reasonable person knows he was a fantastic athlete that had his moments as being a big time threat.

    But to use ‘he played in a super bowl’ as an argument is just silly. He went there in 2012 after having not even started the entire season. Then had his best year the next season before losing in the NFCC.

    But after that…his play steadily declined (coinciding with the once elite D in SF declining…showing that Kap could not carry a team on his own), until he ultimately was benched in 2016.

    Hence why the narrative that he is above average and could start today, when he was really not ever elite, is b.s.

  57. > Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    Two words: Trent Dilfer.

  58. When has people heard from Kap to say he made the demands to be a starter and needed a salary of $20M in the NFL context? I see folks are grasping at straws here to say he’s not good enough. Who was Kap’s #1 WR in 2016? Who was Kap’s top RB in 2016? It’s laughable to not look at the jobs Jim T and Chip KeLly did. But I see logic and facts are not your friend

  59. It’s not one thing or another only.

    Kaep wasn’t very good 4 years ago, and nobody wants to turn their football team into a media circus for the 24/7 cable news networks.

  60. bethesdasquare says:
    June 18, 2020 at 8:43 am
    > Sir, he played in the Super Bowl… you can’t be God-awful and make it there.

    Two words: Trent Dilfer.
    ============================================

    You can also go in the other direction: Tom Brady has played in 9 Super Bowls and people have been saying he’s terrible for the last 19 years. The point being, you can’t assume that a QB he made it to the Super Bowl in 2012 can step in as a starter in 2020. Maybe he can and maybe he can’t.

  61. Kaepernick isn’t on a team because of the media attention he brings. It’s the same reason Tebow was jettisoned out of the NFL. Both used non-football stuff to create a wave of national media attention that no NFL team wants. We can finally put this story to rest.

  62. pickaninnyesq says:
    June 18, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Who was Kap’s #1 WR in 2016? Who was Kap’s top RB in 2016? It’s laughable to not look at the jobs Jim T and Chip KeLly did. But I see logic and facts are not your friend.
    ==================================

    Nobody said he had a great roster around him in 2016. That team was hot garbage.

    But the fact is even when Kap was throwing to Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, and had Frank Gore in his prime and an elite oline in front of him…he never threw for more than 21 TDs or 3,369 yards in a season. Those #’s are NOT elite #s or even consistent starter #s in the NFL. And once Kap lost that elite D in SF… yes he lost weapons, but he never looked even competitive at times.

    For the record I still believe that Kap likely WOULD be an upgrade as a backup to any number of teams, but you can’t force an organization to take him on.

    By the way these statements are based in logic and fact.

  63. Right now if he made 3rd string on some team a bunch of people would say, see I told you he was good enough. C.K. has more confidence in protest than he does as a quarterback. A number of his own teammates said he really played poorly his last year. He was beat out by Gabbert. That equals not up to snuff. If he is given more tryouts maybe he can make it. He shouldn’t be given a slot on a team because he knows how to kneel. Everyobe knows his last couple of seasons he was not kneeling in victory formation.

  64. People can say he played poorly all they want (Clearly his play had dropped off, but also clearly he was good enough to be in the league given the state of QB play below the top 15-20), but it’s abundantly clear the league blackballed him. Owners made a collective decision to not bring him onto a team because they wanted the kneeling issue to go away. Clearly he was good enough to at the very least back up somewhere and even his “poor play” was better than probably 5-10 starting QB.

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