The NFL hosted a private workout for former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in Atlanta on Saturday November 16, 2019. The workout consisted of some on field workouts as well as interviews, all of which was recorded and sent to all 32 teams. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL for now three seasons, dating back to the beginning of his protest against police brutality. His protest has led to his ostracizing from the NFL so much so that a lawsuit was filed against the NFL for the blackballing. Anyone with a brain knows that Colin Kaepernick should be in the NFL and assuming he has a great workout and interview, the NFL should do the right thing and look to bring him in for the 2nd half of the season. I have a list of teams that could use Kaepernick’s services as a quality backup or even starter, which could boost his stock going into next season or even help the team that’s on the fringe of going to the playoffs:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
Let’s start with my own team the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger has been out since Week 2 with an elbow injury and he isn’t getting any younger. Mason Rudolph, although he’s shown flashes, is not the answer at QB for the Steelers. Delvin “Duck” Hodges isn’t that much better. The Steelers won four in a row after starting 1-4 before the debacle in Cleveland, and that is thanks in part to their defense, more importantly Minkah Fitzpatrick, whom the Steelers acquired from the Dolphins earlier this season. The Steelers are three games back of the Ravens for the division lead and are very much in the hunt for a wild card spot. Adding Kaepernick gives an extra boost on offense and bringing him in as a backup wouldn’t hurt the Steelers. If Rudolph goes down again, they have a proven guy in Kaepernick and he can showcase what he has left to potentially become the Steelers’ backup next season.
2. San Francisco 49ers
This may come as a surprise to some, but honestly it’s not that big of a surprise. Who is the current 49ers’ backup to Jimmy Garoppolo? If you watched last night’s game against the Seahawks, the 49ers seemed to not have much faith in Jimmy G and he folded under pressure. What better form of déjà vu would it be for Colin Kaepernick to return to the team that drafted him, take over as the starting QB, and somehow lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, assuming they both get there? The perfect storybook ending to this mess is right there if San Fran wants to do it. They have the best talent of all five teams listed, their defense is amazing, and barring a complete meltdown, could be headed for the Super Bowl. This would be my second choice if the Steelers don’t acquire Colin Kaepernick.
3. Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky has been inconsistent, to put it nicely, for the Bears this season. In order for them to build upon their successful season last year, they have to make a move for a QB. Cam Newton is a possibility, but if you’re reluctant to part with assets then Kaepernick is a low-risk, medium sized reward option if you’re Chicago. This team is talented on both sides of the ball, they got rid of Cody Parkey, the infamous kicker who missed a potential GW field goal in the playoffs, and they got Khalil Mack. Putting Colin with the playmakers (Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and company) on Chicago could serve as a beacon of hope going into next season. If he performs well, he could very well be in serious competition for the starting job next year should they sign him back.
4. Tennessee Titans
Like Pittsburgh, the Titans’ starting QB is out, for a different reason, however this is a contract year for Marcus Mariota. While he hasn’t be the franchise QB as expected from a #2 overall pick, he’s been average. Mediocre if you will. Ryan Tannehill has stepped in and played well for Tennessee but let’s be real, if you’re a Titans fan you know Tannehill is not the answer. Bringing in Kaepernick as a backup and giving him some snaps could prove wonders for him for teams to sign him. The team is talented, they just need some sort of consistency going forward.
5. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford is out with a bad back. Jeff Driskel, who I didn’t know was still in the league, is your starter. You’re not making the playoffs, but you’re a good team. Why not?
There are numerous teams that could use Colin, but my question on the whole thing is this, is it too little too late NFL? We’re in week 11 of the NFL season, we know who’s who in terms of those contending. Why hold a private workout for him now when this could’ve been done prior to training camp and he’d already be in the NFL? Regardless, I’m happy he’s getting another opportunity because he deserves it. Could this be the “chess not checkers” move, we Jay-Z fans were referring to when he signed the NFL deal? I hope so because I haven’t listened to Jay song since he signed the deal, and I need that drought to end. Hey let’s be real, this happened because of the fans, fans who chose to boycott on his behalf, and the guy who’s been there by Kaepernick’s side, Eric Reid. The NFL needs this, Colin deserves this, and we, the fans, deserve it too.
-Trevor Shipp, Co-Host