Get your popcorn ready, folks. We could be gearing up for a civil war in Pats Nation.
After settling with the NFL last week in his collusion suit against the league, Colin Kaepernick is apparently ready to get back out onto the field. And there are some who believe Foxborough could potentially be the new home for the 31-year-old quarterback.
NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter initially brought up the idea on FS1’s “First Things First” this past Friday. Then, the following day, Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos said this to CNN:
“I think you’re going to see … within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who? Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft makes a move.”
It’s important to note that this is nothing more than pure speculation, with literally zero supporting or corroborating evidence at the moment. But he was still rather specific regarding which teams he pointed out, right? I mean, there are 30 other franchises in the league that Geragos could have mentioned as well…but he didn’t. Typically, when there’s smoke there’s fire, so maybe there is something to this.
Now, it should also be pointed out that Bob Kraft is one of the only – if not THE only – NFL owner who has ever publicly supported Kaepernick in any way since the whole protest controversy began. Back in November, Kraft said the following to The New York Times when asked if he thinks the QB should get another chance in the NFL: “Let me say this: I would very much like to see him in the league” (h/t CBS Boston).
OK, so we at least know for sure that Kraft is in favor of Kaepernick get another shot; we do not know, however, if that means he necessarily wants that shot to happen with his team.
Why? Well, because it would cause quite the uproar that, sadly, could hurt the team’s standing with a large portion of its loyal fan base.
I am not going to sit here and rehash the merits of Kapernick’s message or why those who oppose what he did feel the way they do. I was already pretty clear regarding my support for Kap’s cause last year, and my feelings haven’t changed one bit. Unfortunately, though, neither have the feelings of those who continue to unfairly vilify him while completely and utterly misconstruing the real purpose behind his actions; nothing I can say or do will ever change the minds of those who are that stubborn and ignorant – and Kraft knows that nothing that comes out of his mouth will make a damn difference either.
Should that necessarily stop the team from taking a flyer on a talented, multi-tooled player who could serve as an extra (albeit unnecessary) weapon for a team that already just won a championship? No. In fact, if we’re being honest, nothing would bring me more joy than seeing all those irate and indignant Pats fans out there being forced to swallow the fact such a “MONSTER” would be wearing their favorite team’s uniform. (Seriously, I would REVEL in their rage. MAN, I want this to happen so bad SOLELY for that reason.)
But rather, it just doesn’t make sense from a football standpoint, and it’s probably not worth the circus act that would ultimately follow.
First, even if one supported signing Kaepernick, no Pats fan in their right mind should want to see him on the field for the team any time soon. If Kaepernick were to see any noteworthy playing time, that would only be because Tom Brady wasn’t able to play instead. And no, we’re not going to suddenly see Belichick and McDaniels start implementing the new multi-QB scheme we’ve seen teams like Baltimore and New Orleans try out recently. Not only is it foolish, but there is no way in hell Brady would ever stand for that. No freakin’ wayyyyy.
Secondly, for as physically talented as Kaepernick is, he’s really not as good as many of his supporters would like to believe. To be fair, he did post a pretty solid 16-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio in his last season with the 49ers, helping him finish with a 90.7 QB rating on the year over 11 starts. But his 28-30 career record, 59.8 completion percentage, and 177.8 passing yards per game are hardly inspiring. Were it not for his ability to run – which will only continue to deteriorate as he gets older – he would be nothing more than a serviceable backup.
Furthermore, he hasn’t played in three seasons, which in today’s NFL is a lifetime. Every year the game continues to adapt and change, and it’ll probably take him a while to shake off the rust. Especially in the Pats’ complex offensive system, he’ll likely struggle to pick things up, particularly if he barely gets any time other than the preseason to actually play within it. Let’s also not forget that the team already has a pretty good backup in Brian Hoyer, a guy who has years of experience within the scheme and apparently was the secret weapon in the team’s Super Bowl victory over the Rams.
And, again, what would the team actually stand to gain? You can’t even tell me that it’d be a move for the future. To reiterate: he’s 31 and hasn’t played one second of action in the league in either of the last two seasons. Also, I think we can all feel confident that Brady has at least two solid seasons left (if not more). Do you really believe that: a.) Kaepernick will wait that long to earn a starting role, or b.) the team should feel confident in a mid-30s scrambling QB leading them into the future once the G.O.A.T. is gone? Again, no freakin’ wayyyy.
Above all, Kap is looking to get PAID, and I just don’t see the Pats being willing to do that. Truthfully, with guys like Trey Flowers, Trent Brown, and Jason McCourty all set to hit free agency this offseason, I’d actually be pretty pissed if they did.
So settle down, everyone. No matter what side you’re on, I just can’t see the team going out to bring this guy in any time soon. I truly hope he gets his shot somewhere, even if it’s only to stick it in the craw of all the haters. But I just doubt it happens here.