[Image credit: John Bazemore/AP/Shutterstock]
Has the ink dried yet on the deal that Jay-Z just signed with the NFL? Have you figured out how you feel about it? No matter what side of the argument you’re on, two things remain true: one thing is we have to wait and see if his “actionable” deal with the NFL truly benefits those in black and brown communities that suffer from injustice. The second is that Colin Kapernick doesn’t have a job. In my interview with Cris Carter in 2018, Cris ran down a list of QB’s he felt Kaepernick was better than (one of whom recently retired and another who has gone from being a former starter to a backup on a new team). Kaep’s off-the-field merits are above commendable: he has self-financed his Know Your Rights camps while being in what is now year three of his unemployment:
I spoke to quarterback guru Madei Williams and, paired that with my own football knowledge, composed a list of teams he could help right now. With the preseason well into its second week, I am going to attack this from a strictly football talent and depth chart standpoint. Kaep is above prototypical height and weight with proven stats to back him up. I’m also eliminating the excuse that age as an issue, with Tom Brady being able to play well into his 40’s, along with other older quarterbacks who have made a difference for their teams in the past (Kurt Warner, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Brett Favre) just to name a few. This is by far the most QB friendly the NFL has ever been, and most offenses today are set up for the mobile QB to thrive. So, as you read my list, take all that into account.
Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz is the entrenched starter, but every year that he has played, his health as been an issue. With Nick Foles now in Jacksonville and Cody Kessler now hurt, this would be the perfect team and city to embrace Kaep as it once did with Micheal Vick.
Indianapolis Colts: Another entrenched starter insurance policy. Andrew Luck got beat up the first five years of his career because the Colts didn’t invest much into his O-line protection. In some ways they have improved — thanks to head coach Frank Reich. Regardless, the Colts are kind of suffering from football karma of sorts, with Luck being injured often. Reich would be able to adjust his offense to Kaep’s plying style as he understands the value of a good backup, having been one of the longest tenures backup behind JIm Kelly in Buffalo to partner with his many years of the offensive side of the ball and seeing what happened in Philly in their 2017 Superbowl run! it may be a good fit.
Miami Dolphins: Steven Ross politics aside, Keapernick would be an upgrade over any QB in the room. Josh Rosen is on his second team in a year after he was drafted high in the 2018 draft. Couple that with Kaep’s playoff and Super Bowl experience and you add more stability to the room than the Dolphins have had in years.
Arizona Cardinals: After watching Kyler Murray‘s preseason debut, it looks like it’s going to be a long season in Arizona. To go along with that, it looks like Murray may be taking a lot of hits. That being said, having a capable Kaep in the wings might be a wise choice given his experiences, and the fact that they wouldn’t have to make changes to the offense if Kyler Murray isn’t ready to go. Couple that with the fact that part of the reason Kliff Kingsbury was hired because he is an offensive guru and QB whisperer, this might be a good match.
Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr is in a ‘play and see’ type of year with the Raiders. As they try and see if Carr is truly their future, it wouldn’t hurt to have Kaep waiting in the wings if things go left. Mike Glennon did show some improvement this week, but Kaepernick is an easy upgrade over any backup on the team. Beyond that, I cant help but think that the marriage of the two brands would help the Raiders rebel image in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings: Kirk Cousins had a mixed bag of opinions before he inked that huge $84 million dollar deal. In his first year with the Vikings, he didn’t do much to live up to those expectations. Adding Kaep would make a lot of sense for a team that seems to be returning back to a strong running game with the return of Dalvin Cook and a good receiving corps.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Doug Marrone had to play musical chairs with his QB situation last year. Now that Nick Foles is the starter, the Jags have more stability. The truth is, we have been here before with Nick Foles when he played for the Rams before he returned to the Eagles. Having Kaep would be as strong backup option with the likes of Leonard Fournette behind him.
Strong runners up behind each of these teams are longer shots, but from a talent stand point: Keapernick could still help the Broncos, Titans, Bengals, Buccaneers, Panthers, 49ers and Texans.
Extra Credit: Any XFL team. Former University of Oklahoma and Steelers backup Landry Jones was the first player to sign with that league. Vince McMahon is a marketing genius and, even though he has already made it clear that all players would have to stand for for the anthem, Kaepernick would easily be better then any QB you could bring into the XFL, and I believe his addition would put eyeballs on their brand and butts in the seats to see how the embattled QB plays.
I started this post with saying that we have to wait and see what comes of this Roc Nation-NFL deal. One last truth that I would like to leave you with is this: if the NFL truly wants to move forward from Kaep, it has to move forward with Kaep. If they truly recognize why he was kneeling and see that he has the talent and skill set, then there is no real reason for him not to have a job.
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