Colin Kaepernick’s contract demands are keeping him from getting a job in the NFL — so say coaches, players, and football analysts who all agree that he wants way too much money and clout for a quarterback of his caliber.
As ESPN writer Dan Graziano points out, a “confluence of events” are keeping the disgraced former San Francisco 49ers quarterback from getting a job.
The National Anthem Protest And Donald Trump’s Reaction
Kaepernick, as you are no doubt aware, began refusing to stand for the national anthem back during the 2016-2016 NFL pre-season, taking a knee during the performance rather standing with his hand over his heart.
— Zeke Lee (@aczekelee) March 9, 2017
Kaepernick later explained that this was a form of protest against police brutality.
To say that his protest was not well-received is to put it mildly; NFL fans, largely a patriotic bunch — to say nothing of the fact that NFL opening ceremonies often include military displays — were intensely put off by Kaepernick’s actions. Similarly, other players were also critical, as was none other than Donald Trump, who at the time was running for president. As USA Today reported at the time, Trump had some harsh words for the quarterback during a radio interview.
“I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try, it won’t happen.”
To this day, Trump continues to inject himself into the discussion, suggesting that he himself is the reason Kaepernick can’t get a job. As CNN reported last week, Trump told a rally that NFL owners don’t want to sign Kaepernick because of Trump’s wrath.
“It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump.”
— Liberal America (@LibAmericaOrg) March 24, 2017
Does Kaepernick Want Too Much Money?
In fact, Kapernick’s flag baggage and beef with Donald Trump are a large part, but certainly not the only part, of Kaepernick’s contract troubles. Perhaps the biggest issue is the fact that he’s demanding way too much money for a quarterback of his caliber (read: average).
Multiple sources close to the NFL and Kaepernick report that his salary demand is in the $9- to $10-million-per-year range, which is an almost absurd amount of money for a quarterback who isn’t a marquee athlete, especially because he has what can most charitably be described as “baggage.” His career stats, says ESPN’s Pat McManamon, just don’t bear out that kind of money.
“His career completion percentage is 59.8, his QB rating is 88.9 and his Total QBR is 64.9. Those rankings are in the middle of the pack among NFL quarterbacks since he’s been in the league. He also has been sacked 171 times, 14th-highest in his NFL years.”
And as the number of NFL teams in need of a quarterback shrinks, so does the number of chances Kaepernick will have to get a job, let alone a contract befitting a marquee quarterback.
He Wants A Guaranteed Starting Job
In addition to demanding way too much money, Kaepernick is also angling for a job as a starting quarterback, according to Will Brinson of CBS Sports. That’s not going to happen.
“If Kaepernick is set on finding a starting job, he is going to be out of luck. The Texans, Jets, Browns and 49ers are teams that need starting quarterbacks. You can force the Broncos in there, but they have Paxton Lynch, who they drafted in the first round last year. We can probably rule out the 49ers.”
There remains the outside possibility that the Cleveland Browns may be interested in Kaepernick as a starter, but whether or not they’re willing to pay him the kind of money he wants – and possibly get an angry tweet from Donald Trump? – remains to be seen.
Do you believe that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem controversy is what’s keeping him from getting an NFL contract?
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]