The Seahawks are reportedly looking into signing the exiled Colin Kaepernick to back up Russell Wilson. If I had more time, I’d form a “Sign Kaepernick Council.” Here’s why.
The Seahawks could use another backup quarterback. Nominal understudy Trevone Boykin has legal issues stemming from several boneheaded, off-field incidents, and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll seemed reluctant to throw him on the field in spite of several injuries to Wilson throughout last season.
It’s no secret by now that adding a mobile veteran quarterback behind Wilson is a priority heading into Training Camp. If not a priority, than a “that would be nice” dream. And it makes sense. As pointed out by Seattle sports writer Art Thiel: “Even though he didn’t miss a game, Wilson’s injuries, even more than the retirement of RB Marshawn Lynch, had the biggest negative impact on the Seattle season.”*
Wilson was up and down as a result of multiple injuries last year. It’s difficult to bench a Super Bowl winning quarterback who can still play on any team, but Wilson’s injuries expose a potential Achilles’ heal for an otherwise loaded Seahawks squad heading into 2017.
Rumors have been flying about possibly bringing Robert Griffin III into Seattle, and that could very well happen, but I want to start the “Sign Colin Kaepernick Council” for numerous reasons. The first makes football sense.
Good Backup Stats, Low Price
In an NFL in which Blaine Gabbert, Mike Glennon, and Josh McCown are employed, Kaepernick should be coveted. His last few seasons in San Francisco as the starter were underwhelming compared to his days with Jim Harbaugh, but he is still better than half of the backups in the league, according to the numbers. Kaepernick is in position to deliver competent statistics in the event of a Wilson injury at a bargain bin price. He even (sort of) fits within Darrell Bevell’s offensive system.
End the Racist Blackball Campaign
Wow I’m sick of people assuming Kaepernick is still unemployed because he’s viewed as a distraction. Read it here, people, and take this as Gospel, I’m going to quote myself in this block quote so you all get it:
"Kaepernick is not unemployed because teams think he’ll be a distraction. He’s unemployed because the league’s all-white owners don’t care for his politics."
It’s that simple. Rich, white owners of NFL teams don’t want a player who stands up for the rights of minorities. It’s racism.
Not all NFL owners are racist, nor do all of them hate Kaepernick for his stance on police brutality (don’t get me started on why his cause is extremely relevant, important, and courageous). But it seems enough owners who would normally be interested in a decent backup quarterback won’t come near Kaep because they don’t like him and his challenge of the untouchable Police State.
This Council wants that sentiment to end in the NFL for the good of everyone. The Seahawks have an opportunity to show America that the NFL is not as racist as everyone knows it is. Owner Paul Allen isn’t a racist as far as I know, and he can cement that perception by being the one who took a chance on the exiled former star.
Okay, but will it actually happen?
Seahawks defensive end and political activist Michael Bennett seems to think so. Several Seahawks players joined Kaepernick’s protest last year, and if Hawks brass doesn’t like it, they seem willing to let it continue, even though Kaep said he’d stop kneeling this year.
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Ideally for Kaep, he’s a starter in the NFL in 2017 one way or another. He could still accomplish that by waiting out Training Camp and Preseason, when starters inevitably get hurt and teams get desperate enough to ignore their racist leanings. He could keep training hard in preparation for that day and maybe even revitalize a team that thought all its hopes for 2017 were lost.
That team could very well be the Seahawks, who walked a tightrope with Wilson’s injuries last year behind the worst offensive line in football.
Kaepernick is in a difficult, unprecedented negotiation situation. It would seem that taking a paycut this year to back up Wilson (and possibly see the field as a starter anyway), then cashing in with another team the following year is a viable option for him. I hope the Seahawks take a chance on a solid backup, and symbolically show the league they are on the right side of history.
A quality backup or a decent starting QB should not be unemployed because he took a stand against one of the more grotesque symptoms of racial inequality in this country. And it makes perfect football sense. Hence, the “Sign Kaepernick Council.”
*I would argue that Earl Thomas’ injury had a greater negative impact, but you get the point.