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To many, Colin Kaepernick is an American Hero, to others he is a traitor who publicly “disrespected” symbols of his country, but regardless the former NFL quarterback could be getting another shot at his lifelong dream to play professional football.
That dream was interrupted “by a knee” for three seasons as Kaepernick’s kneeling protests during the National Anthem prior to games caused him to be was shunned from the league for the last three seasons.
Now the “outdated thinking” that led many to incorrectly assume Kaep was purposely disrespecting the American flag (he says he wasn’t) has been updated and NFL teams have now been given the green light to snag him, so we take a look at the top five fits for Kaep for the upcoming 2020 season.
There are plenty of factors that make the Ravens the perfect fit for Kaep, who will obviously return to the league in a backup capacity for now, the biggest one being his familiarity with the team’s overall style of an offensive game plan.
Under coordinator Greg Roman, Baltimore uses a “zone read” offense, which is the same scheme Roman used when Kaepernick and he worked successfully together in San Francisco from 2011 through 2014.
Currently backing up Lamar Jackson in Baltimore is the injury-prone Robert Griffin III and the relatively inexperienced Trace McSorley, so signing a backup who understands the offense like Kaepernick could make a lot of sense, plus the price would be right.
The Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has told the media that he wished he had pulled the trigger back in 2017 when the team was seriously considering signing the controversial Kaepernick.
Currently, the backup quarterback in Seattle is Geno Smith, who has never been able to step into the role of starter when given the chance, something that Kaepernick has shown he is capable of doing…before the “rust” from not playing for the last three seasons set in.
But that rust could disappear quickly with consistent reps, and if Kaepernick has been staying in shape like he has told the media, then he could prove to be a better backup for Russell Wilson, especially given their similar style of play, which includes improvisational brilliance while scrambling.
Last season, the Houston Texans’ front line allowed their starting quarterback Deshaun Watson to be sacked 44 times, which was fourth-most in the league and a sign that a good backup quarterback is essential for that franchise.
Currently, Watson’s backups are A.J. McCarron, Alex McGough, and Nick Tiano – none of whom have the type of success and experience that Kaepernick brings to the table, assuming he can quickly get back to his former level of play.
Head coach Bill O’Brien has told the media that he will kneel in solidarity with his players this season, so the controversy that comes with Kaepernick shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just whether the team believes the “well-rested” 32-year old can still play and if it’s worth millions of dollars to find out.
Right now, since the departure of longtime franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, the Los Angeles Chargers are starting veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor under center, a cautious, dependable player who does not make a lot of dumb mistakes but who is not known for his exciting play.
But Taylor’s backups are both inexperienced – first-round pick Justin Herbert is a rookie and last year’s fifth-round pick Easton Stick never started a regular-season game last year, so if Taylor goes down the Chargers will be at an instant disadvantage.
It doesn’t hurt that the Chargers’ head coach, Anthony Lynn, is black and has been a leader when it comes to fighting for social justice and equality, an work environment that the experienced Kaep could fit right into if given the chance.
Last season when starting Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had to sit out a few games with a dislocated knee cap, backup Matt Moore filled in nicely, but he hasn’t re-signed this offseason, leaving the job to Chad Henne, who’s about to play his third year in the league.
Though Henne knows the system in Kanas City, it’s questionable whether he could do the same decent job filling in that Moore did, and with two even younger backups behind him (Jordan Ta’amu and Shea Patterson), the team could use a player with Kaepernick’s experience on the roster.
When Kaep did a pro session in Atlanta last November, reps from the Chiefs attended, so the interest is there, but whether head coach Andy Reid trusts that Kaepernick can still hurl the ball accurately downfield will most likely determine the returning backup’s overall chances.
We predict that the Seattle Seahawks will snag Kaepernick just before training camp begins – why not give Geno Smith some decent competition during a season the team’s prepared to dominate?
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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