NFL Rumors: Kaepernick Could Have Opportunity To Start In Jacksonville As Blake Bortles Struggles

Nathan Francis - Author

Aug. 21 2017, Updated 1:50 p.m. ET

NFL rumors are looking up for Colin Kaepernick, with the prodigal quarterback possibly having an opening to return to the NFL and compete for a starting job in Jacksonville.

Although Kaepernick has been the most talented quarterback in the free agent market, he was passed up again and again for openings, leading to rumblings that he was being blackballed for his decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against African Americans.

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But that could soon change, with quarterback Blake Bortles struggling so badly in training camp for the Jacksonville Jaguars that there are rumors the team may be looking to Colin Kaepernick to inject some much-needed competition for the starting job. As FanSided noted, Bortles got off to a terrible start in training camp, throwing five interceptions in one early practice, and looked bad in the team’s preseason games. Backup Chad Henne has now gotten some time with the first-team offense but has not looked much better.

The Jaguars had just picked up the fifth-year contract option for Bortles before the season, meaning the team is on the hook for $19 million next year, FanSided noted. That has led to some speculation that the Jaguars could cut him outright rather than risk having to dish out the salary if Bortles is injured (the money is guaranteed only for injury, a situation that led the Redskins to sit Robert Griffin III for all of 2015).

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FanSided noted that the Jaguars could cut Bortles and aim for Colin Kaepernick.

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“Bortles $3.2 million salary for this year is guaranteed, so the Jaguars would be eating that money if they cut him (barring possible offset language in his contract). But it might be worth it just to open up a roster spot to sign another quarterback, like Kaepernick or even RG3, since it’s finally clear Bortles has no future in Jacksonville.”

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There are many NFL executives who believe Kaepernick still has what it takes to be a starter in the NFL. Though the San Francisco 49ers were on the downswing for the past few years, Kaepernick’s stats were still middle-of-the-road to good, including a 90.7 quarterback rating last season and 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions last season.

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Scot McCloughan, former general manager for the Washington Redskins, tweeted last week that Kaepernick could still be a starter in the NFL. In a later interview with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, McCloughan said that Kaepernick has the right resume to start again in the NFL.

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“I played against him a lot when I was in Seattle,” McCloughan said (via the Washington Post). “He’s got talent, there’s no doubt about it, and he will be in the league. Depends on the situation he wants to go to and when it happens, but he has ability, he’s still young enough, he’s athletic enough, he’s got enough arm strength, no doubt about it. The guy’s won a lot of games. He went to three NFC championships, went to a Super Bowl, and there’s credit to that. And I don’t know where his mind-set is right now or where his agent’s mind-set is, but you definitely kick the tires on it, for sure. I would, no matter what.”

Despite the growing rumors around the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars have given no indication that they plan on cutting Blake Bortles or signing Colin Kaepernick.

[Featured Image by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]


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