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Can We Stop Pretending Colin Kaepernick Deserves An NFL Job?

Colin Kaepernick
Can we stop pretending Colin Kaepernick deserves an NFL job? It’s the most laughable narrative in sports. (Thearon W Henderson/Getty Images)

Can We Stop Pretending Colin Kaepernick Deserves An NFL Job?

Before I begin this blog, I would like to preface a few things. I have no issue with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee for the National Anthem. Don’t care. The Anthem is a strange tradition, to begin with. It started during the 1918 World Series when fans just decided to start signing it in the 7th inning stretch. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why the Anthem is even a thing.

I would also like to state that I’m about as liberal as it gets. I’m Pro Weed, Pro Gay Marriage, and Anti Guns. I believe in higher taxes for a lower cost of living. I voted for Bernie Sanders. Again, I don’t care about kneeling for the Anthem. Never did. This article is a talent driven post. There’s a reason why Colin Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL. It’s because he’s not good enough.

I really didn’t want to even write this post but I’m past my breaking point. It seems like everyday Colin Kaepernick is in the news for nonsense. Not too long ago, Rihanna passed on the chance to perform at the Super Bowl because of Kaepernick. This is so laughable. This proves that a majority of fans are just uneducated on the topic. I guess it’s not too surprising. This is the same woman that sat courtside in a LeBron jersey during the 2018 NBA Finals while Kevin Durant stuck LeBron in his back pocket. She’s used to being on the wrong side of these things. If you’re one of those people angry that Kaepernick is out of the league. Don’t be, you’re just uneducated. He’s not talented enough to be in the NFL.

Let’s just get one thing out of the way right now. Without Jim Harbaugh, you wouldn’t know who Colin Kaepernick is. Harbaugh was the 49ers head coach from 2011-2014. Harbaugh resurrected Alex Smith’s entire career. He would be out of the league without him. Smith was drafted by the 49ers in 2005. From 2005-2010, Smith never threw for 20 touchdowns, 3,000 yards or had a winning record in his career. Harbaugh showed up and the 49ers went 13-3 with Alex Smith. I’m not sure another head coach in the league does that. 13-3 with Alex Smith?!? The following year, Smith was 6-2-1 before the former 2nd round pick from Nevada got his chance. Before you shout about Kaepernick’s prior success, make sure to recognize none of it happens without Jim Harbaugh.

Colin Kaepernick
You wouldn’t care about Colin Kapernick if Jim Harbaugh never coached him. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

There’s always been a rule in the NFL. You have to be an accurate thrower of the football to be a sustainable franchise quarterback. Cam Newton is the only exception and go take a look at him right now. He can’t run and now he’s broken. Colin Kaepernick falls into a very common category. Gimmicks who can make plays with their legs, but for how long? Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Robert Griffin III, Marcus Mariota, and Colin Kaepernick. They all have been phased out of the game. All of them are limited quarterbacks who had promising athletic traits but weren’t good enough throwers of the football to become sustainable franchise quarterbacks. It’s only a matter of time until Lamar Jackson joins this group. Mitch Trubisky is already starting to. Forget about what you saw in the past. It was all a mirage. The defensive coordinators get tape on them, they all get exposed. It’s just the truth.

Kaepernick was always going to have a short shelf life. I’ve seen it too many times before with this type of quarterback. If you can’t be an accurate thrower of the football, forget about lasting 12 years in the NFL as a franchise quarterback. But what about the Super Bowl run? What about it? It falls right in line. The year the 49ers got to the Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick took over midseason when the NFL didn’t have tape on him. The Harbaugh staff did a fantastic job catering the offense to his skill set. He brought the zone read to the NFL. Just like the Wild Cat and all the gimmicks before it, the Kaepernick zone read offense had a shelf life. They went to the Super Bowl during Kaepernick’s first year taking over the offense. The year after, the 49ers had a nice season in his first full year as the starter. Then the wheels started to fall off. San Fran went 8-8 in 2014. Kapernick’s touchdown rate dropped. His interception rate increased. From that moment, it was over. Harbaugh was unfairly fired after squeezing everything he could out of Kaepernick. Turns out a new head coach exposed Kaepernick for everything he was the entire time. A terrible quarterback.

Jim Harbaugh knew the truth. He couldn’t win with Kaepernick long term. He had to pull out the tricks. Heavy zone read with lots of quarterback rushing attempts. Eventually, you run out of plays. Eventually, defenses catch up. The same thing will happen to Lamar Jackson. History repeats itself. The Ravens are using the same offensive coordinator the 49ers did with Kaepernick, Greg Roman. Then you will wake up in a couple of years and wonder what happened to Lamar Jackson. All you have to do is look on the sidelines because it happened to RG3 too. It’s called sustainability. There’s a difference between running quarterbacks and mobile quarterbacks. Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson are accurate throwers of the football. They will be in the league forever. Colin Kaepernick is not. Kaepernick’s career completion percentage is below 60 percent. That’s not good enough, even for a backup quarterback.

Let’s take out the Harbaugh years. Defenses started to really figure him out at that point. During Kaepernick’s final two years in the NFL, he went 3-16 as a starter. Sorry, that’s not good enough. It’s not really good enough for a backup either. 2015 he went 2-6. 2016, Kaep went 1-10. What more did you need to see? He wasn’t just awful, he was progressively getting worse the more defenses saw him. Both of those years, Colin Kaepernick never completed 60 percent of his throws in any year, never averaged more than 186 yards per game in a season and had a QBR below 50. We saw more than enough. Colin Kaepernick was not good enough to be an NFL quarterback. He wasn’t even good enough to beat out Blaine Gabbert full time.

I hear this all the time. “Well, he’s good enough to be a backup!” Again, not true. Kaepernick was about to turn 30 in 2017. That means his athleticism was starting to deteriorate. What the hell is he if the same rushing attack isn’t there? He was god awful as it is his final two years. Now his rushing attack is going to be diminished because of age? That’s not an NFL quarterback. Let’s also add in that there are a TON of young quarterbacks entering the NFL. Hell, an undrafted Devlin Hodgers out of Samford just won his first start and played his ass off. He was the third stringer for Pittsburgh. Kyle Allen is getting his chance with the Panthers. He’s 5-0 and hasn’t lost. Allen didn’t get drafted. He looks better than Cam Newton. Nick Mullens came in for Jimmy G last year and actually did some nice things. Mullens didn’t get drafted. There are a TON of young quarterbacks that deserve a chance first. I know what Colin Kaepernick is. I’ll never get to know how Shane Carden would have turned out. He threw 86 touchdowns in 3 years as a starter at East Carolina completing 66 percent of his throws with almost 12,000 passing yards. Carden didn’t even really take a snap in the preseason. Now that’s something to be mad about. Colin Kaepernick? He got his chance. It was called 3-16 as a starter without Jim Harbaugh.

Why is Colin Kaepernick so special? Nobody gets mad about Tim Tebow being out of the league? Tebow went 8-6 as a starter, won a playoff game, and got pushed out of the league? Now that’s fair? Tebow isn’t in the NFL because he can’t throw. Same reason Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL. Let’s play a game. Are you sure Kaepernick is better than Cardale Jones? All I know is Cardale Jones won a National Title in college. Never got a real chance to play. Cardale Jones is actually doing something about it. He’s going to play in the XFL. Colin Kaepernick refuses to play in the XFL or CFL. If he wants another chance, go prove yourself. Kaepernick is unwilling to do so. He feels like he should be handed a job because he was lucky enough to Jim Harbaugh.

Mark Sanchez is out of the league. He went to back to back AFC Championship games. Nobody cries about that one. Guess what? Sanchez doesn’t belong in the NFL either. Neither does EJ Manuel, Connor Cook, Jake Locker, Brock Osweiler, Johnny Manziel, Landry Jones, and Garrett Grayson. There’s a reason why those guys are no longer in the NFL. All of which are arguably better than Kaepernick. Manziel might have gotten another chance. Guess what? He went to Canada and sucked. Nobody deserves to be handed a job in the NFL. If Kaepernick wants another chance, go prove it in the XFL. He’s unwilling to do so. That’s not the NFL’s problem.

Can we stop pretending Colin Kaepernick deserves a job in the NFL? It’s the dumbest topic in sports. There’s exactly zero reasons why Kaepernick should be in the news. Any coach, gm, or quarterback that goes 3-16 as a starter deserves to get replaced. A quarterbacks job is to be able to deliver the football to the receivers. When you can’t throw for 60 percent or throw for 200 yards per game, you don’t deserve to be in the NFL. It’s not that hard to understand. I would also like to throw in that Kaepernick settled in his collusion case. If he thought he was being blackballed, he wouldn’t have taken the settlement. He was looking for a pay check. Go get mad about something else. Getting mad about Colin Kaepernick not being in the NFL? Yeah, he’s not good enough… case closed.

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