NFL Rumors: Colin Kaepernick Could Be Top Candidate To Back Up Derek Carr In Oakland, ‘ESPN’ Suggests

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The NFL rumors are not growing cold as the long offseason sets in, with reports indicating that Colin Kaepernick may be a major consideration for Jon Gruden as he takes over in Oakland.

The new Raiders head coach has not given much indication yet about what he plans to do at the backup quarterback position, which is one of the team’s biggest question marks going into the next season. E.J. Manuel, who had one start this season when Derek Carr went down with an injury, is hitting free agency and did little to show the team he is a long-term solution at the position.

Neither has Connor Cook, the team’s former fourth-round pick who lost the job to Manuel last offseason. There are a handful of other quarterbacks the team could seek in free agency, or roll the dice on a mid-round draft pick they hope will develop behind Carr.

But ESPN‘s Paul Gutierrez suggests that there may be another, much more logical option for the Oakland Raiders — Colin Kaepernick. As Gutierrez pointed out, Kaepernick’s stats in his final stretch with the San Francisco 49ers were good, surprisingly good.

“When Kaepernick last suited up, in 2016, his 96.2 passer rating in his last six games was the same as last year’s Niners wunderkind posted in his six games of the 2017 season, and Jimmy Garoppolo was just rewarded with a record five-year, $137.5 million contract — after seven career starts, five with the 49ers,” the report noted.

This is not the first time that NFL rumors have hinted at a Colin Kaepernick return with the Oakland Raiders. Shortly after the Raiders announced Gruden’s signing, beat reporter Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that he believes Gruden is seriously considering signing Kaepernick as the team’s backup. Other reports have identified Kaepernick as one of the best fits for the Raiders, even if they are not identifying specific rumors indicating as such.

There would seem to be some meat to this NFL rumor. In the past, Jon Gruden has been full of praise for Colin Kaepernick’s abilities, and Oakland would seem a decent fit as the Raiders have already had a number of players participate in national anthem protests, so the team — and the city, especially — would likely welcome his activism rather than see him as divisive. Kaepernick’s growing attention for his philanthropy could also help make his transition back into the NFL a smoother one.