Much has been made of Colin Kaepernick’s “protests” since they began just over a year ago. Personally, I’m of the belief that it’s entirely disrespectful to the flag, to the country, to the people who fought for this country, to the people who lost loved ones who fought for this country, and to the opportunities this country has given him and everyone else who has ever had the privelege to call this country their home. Proverbially, two wrongs don’t make a right and it’s just not the right platform or way to go about getting your point across. However, many others think quite differently and feel that the men and women who fought for this country did so in order to preserve the type of rights an individual has to allow them to make decisions like this so freely. There are slight variations to those two perspectives, but generally speaking, those are the two angles taken in this debate. Not to worry though, this isn’t yet another article debating which side should be considered right or just, this is an article addressing those who think Kaepernick is somehow being blackballed from the NFL.
You see, unlike the first debate where there are two possible sides who can both make compelling arguments or bring reasonable opinions to the table to support their claims, the reason for Kaepernick’s current unemployment status is very cut and dry. Quite frankly, he sucks. The 2017 QB Tiers survey asked 50 coaches and evaluators to place quarterbacks in one of five performance tiers, with Tier 1 signifying the best and Tier 5 the worst. Kaepernick was given a 3.88 average, placing him ahead of only six potential starters. The skeptics will say that this is because he’s now being unfairly judged, but in the exact same 2016 QB Tiers poll, conducted before Kaepernick’s first anthem protest, he was given a nearly identical 3.83 average. Once again, quite frankly… he sucks.
Many argue that he’d be a better backup quarterback than most of the 32 backups in the league, and unfortunately, that’s also not true. Generally speaking, backup quarterbacks do not have those jobs because they’d be the best available starter if the current starter were to fall to injury. They have those jobs as either developmental players, or for their professionalism and relationship as a supportive sidekick to the current starter. They’re the extra set of eyes in the film room and on the sidelines who reports everything they see to the current starter. This is why teams stick with the same limited-skill backups for multiple years, yet when an injury strikes their current starter while they’re still alive in the playoff race, they seek out other available options rather than turn to their weakly-skilled backups.
Additionally, the NFL has a ridiculously low success rate when it comes to running quarterbacks. Most running quarterbacks have either not succeeded at all, or had success windows that lasted only a couple years before they fizzled out and couldn’t find a starting job. NFL defenses and defensive coordinators are far too advanced to be beaten by running quarterbacks for extended periods of time before making the necessary adjustments. Additionally, a running quarterback’s body can not stand up to the relentless pounding it takes from getting hit regularly for any significant amount of time. (See: RG3, who incidentally, also can not find a job in the NFL right now.) Quarterbacks simply need to be able to throw the ball well to have any kind of sustained success in the NFL. Even Michael Vick, the most dangerous running quarterback in NFL history, repeatedly disappointed his employers and had a hard time finding a job in the NFL. When he did find a job, he was quickly benched and replaced by lesser talented backups who could manage a game better. Many people believed Tim Tebow was blackballed for the presence of his strong religious beliefs, but this was also a false perception. Tim Tebow couldn’t find a job because Tim Tebow couldn’t throw a football. Look no further than Derek Carr to pound that point home. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with stronger religious beliefs than Derek Carr, yet he flourishes in the NFL for one reason and one reason only… he’s an excellent quarterback who can throw the ball. Colin Kaepernick is not being blackballed, he’s just suffering a similar fate as Tim Tebow did in that he’s unemployed for the simple reason that he can’t throw a football. Again, quite frankly… he sucks.
A recent anonymous defensive coordinator summed it up like this: “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.’ 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.”
On Thursday, LeSean McCoy said he doesn’t believe the league is being unfair to Kaepernick at all, adding that “the only reason he’s not in the league is because he’s not very good at football.” He also went on to say that if he were a more talented player, like an Odell Beckham, the distractions would be worth it, but that Kaepernick just isn’t good enough to be worth the distractions he’d bring to a team.
In other words, what Shady was trying to say is, quite frankly… he sucks.