Colin Kaepernick has become the most infamous free agent in NFL history, he is currently involved in a lawsuit with the NFL owners. Kaepernick claims that the NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league in response to the controversy over his kneeling in protest during the National Anthem last year. This lawsuit has as much chance of working out as Lacrosse has of becoming a major sport.
The first problem Kap has is that he is going to be facing an all-star team of lawyers the likes of which the US Court systems has never seen. Don’t believe me? Just think back to the OJ trial. One Hall of Fame player had the cash to put together a team of lawyers so dominant they got him off on a murder the whole country was fucking sure he committed. Now replace one millionaire with thirty two billionaires. I promise you they will assemble a team of suited sociopathic sharks on the level of the 92 dream team that will make Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran and Robert Kardashian look like the tanking 76ers. Frankly they could run me over with a gold plated limo and I doubt I’d see a dime.
The bigger problem Kap faces though is that he frankly isn’t a very good quarterback. The media has spun a revisionist history of Kaepernick’s career making it seem like he was an all-star quarterback who took a stand for civil rights and has been ostracized for it. That storyline fails to take into account that Kaepernick had the twenty ninth ranked QBR and twenty third ranked QBR in his last two seasons in the NFL. If you look at who was around him on that list most of those guy have retired, lost their jobs or were rookies and have since developed.
Kaepernick found success early in his career when a rash of young running QBs entered the league and found success (i.e. RGIII, Luck, Newton, and Wilson) because defenses didn’t know how to contain them, but now defenses have adjusted and know how to contain running quarterbacks. RGIII was driven out of the league due to injuries as a result of running too much, Luck is still around but has similarly suffered injuries and is now on the DL, Newton has been inconsistent and Wilson has had to adjust his game to use his mobility not to run but to buy his receivers time which is the only way mobile QBs survive. People forget Kap had already lost the starting job to Blaine Gabbert when he started protesting.
The last argument people have is “well, maybe he isn’t good enough to be a starter but he could be a backup.” The main issue with that argument is that people don’t really get what an NFL backup QB really is. When teams are looking for a backup they are either looking for a young QB to groom into being a starter and at thirty Kap isn’t young or they are looking for an insurance policy for if their starter goes down they can take over the team. Backups also serve as the practice team QBs and are responsible for aping those weeks opposing QBs mannerisms and style.
So the best backups aren’t necessarily the thirty third best QB in the league but rather a guy with high football IQ who can make a wide variety of throws and can both learn your offense so if the starter goes down he can fill in and understand and mimic opposing team’s offensive systems. That’s why NFL coaching staffs are riddled with former journeyman QBs like Jim Harbaugh and Jason Garrett, and why guys like Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer and Blaine Gabbert have hung around for so long.
Colin Kaepernick has never been known for being a guy who could make all the throws in fact his biggest criticisms was that he struggled being accurate on throws to the outside of the field and didn’t put much touch on his balls, he has a cannon of an arm but his balls are lasers when sometimes you need a rainbow.
NFL offenses are complicated and you can’t just plug and play at quarterback. Imagine if you owned an Italian restaurant and you have the best Italian chef in the world they guys amazing his pasta will bring a tear to your eye, but one day he gets into a car wreck and breaks his hands (think of the beginning of Doctor Strange) and can’t cook for three months. You need a new chef would you pick the fifth best Japanese sushi chef or the fifteenth best Italian chef. You are going to hire the Italian chef because even if he can’t cook the food as well as your other chef at least he knows the recipes.
Colin Kaepernick knew what he was getting into when he started this protest, he knew he was taking a risk with his career and did it anyway. Whether you agree with him or not that takes a commendable amount of balls and should convey to you how much what he was protesting about meant to him.
Written By: Jason MacKinnon (@oohkillemjason)