Former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still not on an NFL roster despite a full offseason, the draft, and injuries around the league.
ESPN’s Mike Sando, who compiles an annual quarterbacks rankings list, talked to numerous NFL coaches and executives about Kaepernick. Though he doesn’t reveal exactly who said what, Sando shared a number of comments that offer some insight into why Kaepernick remains a free agent.
“As far as his prospects as a backup, I don’t think he is being blackballed in terms of rich white owners saying, ‘We are not hiring this guy,’ ” said one defensive coordinator. “I think coaches are like, ‘Look, if this kid is not starting for us, why are you bringing in distractions not for a starter? We have a pretty good sort of locker room and mesh here. What is the risk-reward?’
“I don’t think anyone is to the point of making him the starter, and that is the bubble he is getting caught in.”
In some sense, it’s the same issue former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow faced. He was a distraction for different reasons, but teams felt like any distraction wasn’t worth it unless he was a starter.
Not only are people concerned about bringing Kaepernick on as a backup, they also seem concerned about his natural abilities and modern NFL systems.
“I like the arm strength and I like the athleticism, but the worst thing that happened with him was when people tried to make him a pocket passer,” said one personnel director. “He is much better when he can waggle or boot and do some of those things.”
All that being said, some NFL coaches do think he’ll eventually be back in the league, though they don’t know when that is going to happen.
“I do not think he is done,” claimed one coach. “I think he can still play. He is awkward. People want a certain look.”