I didn’t care about Colin Kaepernick’s protest when it started. Sure, it was tasteless (pig socks anyone?) and pointless (protests are only effective if they help advance your cause), and silly (his actual grievance was--at best--poorly worded), but I didn’t actually care because he was a backup player on a middling team and if we all just ignored him it’d go away, because backup players don’t get camera time unless there’s an injury.
For years, my issue with the Kaepernick saga has been one purely from the perspective of someone who truly loves the game of football: Colin Kaepernick was never signed by anyone because he was--and likely remains--objectively bad at football.
Which is why this tweet astounded me:
By any objective measurement, Colin Kaepernick has never been better at football than any of these people. Particularly egregious are Cam Newton and Teddy Bridgewater, both of whom have proven they are legitimate starting quarterbacks in multiple different systems.
Colin Kaepernick has--for his career--averaged 1.2 touchdowns per game in a league that practically outlawed effective safety play. That would have put him in the same rarefied air as some of the following offensive juggernauts from last season: Chicago (1.2), New York Jets (1.2), Washington (1.1), and Denver (1.0).
That’s right, kids. Despite once having a season with a nearly 3:1 TD to INT ratio, and once having Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis to throw to, Colin Kaepernick is comparable to Mitchell Trubisky for his career. That 3:1 year? He had all three of those monster targets and only managed 2.65 TDs to INTs.
He is a run-first quarterback in a league that is too fast, too smart, and too rapid to adjust defensively. He is objectively incapable of reading defensive back movements, and is incapable of moving off his primary read. Check out this awesome highlight reel of all his awful interceptions. You see how the defensive back always has a running start? That’s because he knew where the throw was going. In several of the cases, the defensive back has such a good read on Kaepernick that the defensive back ends up running a better route to the ball than the actual receiver.
He is an objectively terrible decision maker with few tangible football skills that can’t be found elsewhere.
Kaep hasn’t been in football for years. The idea that he’s a valuable commodity is laughable enough. The idea that he could return and be ready to be a starter (on some real teams mind you) is beyond parody. If you're going to take an unproven commodity who needs serious work learning how to read coverages, why would you sign an aging vet who hasn't been in the league in six years, when you could draft some kid in a late round and risk the league minimum? Forget the football aspect, Kaepernick is a bad financial decision and general managers lose jobs for those.
It’s not going to be easy ignoring football this year. I love this sport. It was a consistent thing in my life when a lot of other things weren’t. It was my dad and I’s version of baseball for previous generations.
But asinine stuff like this is why I have to walk away.
I’m doing it for something I love. We all should.
h/t to @14_dutch for the cover image. Follow him or go to Hell!