Colin Kaepernick’s Performance Not An Excuse For Quarterback’s Lack Of An NFL Job, ESPN Analyst Says

Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball during a 2014 game against the St. Louis Rams.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Despite the spate of injuries that has affected some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks in recent weeks, Colin Kaepernick still does not have a job in the league. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who turns 32 later this year, last played professional football in the 2016 NFL campaign, and with the likes of Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Cam Newton all missing time this season, their respective teams have chosen to stick with their top backups while waiting for their proven starters to recover.

While there have been some experts who believe Kaepernick’s on-field performance is the main reason why he remains an unsigned free agent, ESPN’s Jason Reid recently shut down this argument. According to Pop Culture, Reid appeared on Wednesday’s edition of First Take, where he opined that NFL teams cannot blame Kaepernick’s less-than-stellar play for their ostensible lack of interest, as these organizations have often gone with less talented or less productive individuals while trying to patch up holes at the quarterback position.

“We can debate how many teams he should start for,” Reid was quoted as saying. “But there is no credible argument as to the fact that this guy cannot be one of the top 32 or top 64 quarterbacks in the league. The NFL does not want Colin Kaepernick.”

Reid also explained that NFL teams have signed multiple signal-callers who cannot “throw the ball from point A to point B” without getting intercepted or sacked. This, he believes, essentially justifies his opinion that the league has no interest in Kaepernick, even at this point in the 2019 NFL season where several quarterbacks are nursing injuries.

As detailed by Pop Culture, there are many possible reasons why Kaepernick hasn’t been given a chance to show his skills in the NFL once again despite the many ostensible vacancies at quarterback. The publication said that there is a “very real possibility” that the NFL does not want to pay “Kap” after he settled with the NFL in March over his previous collusion case against the league. Likewise, it was speculated that NFL owners are trying to avoid signing such a controversial player because of the current “political climate.”

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Backing up Reid’s point about the talent levels of quarterbacks NFL teams had signed over Kaepernick, Pop Culture cited the examples of Tyrod Taylor, Brock Osweiler, and Blake Bortles. The outlet wrote that Taylor is merely considered a “solid role player” due to his lack of game-changing ability as a playmaker, while Osweiler and Bortles have both thrown more interceptions than Kaepernick despite spending less time in the league.

While Reid became the latest example of a sports analyst who believes Kaepernick is being kept out of the NFL due to issues regarding his national anthem protests, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Tim Benz shared an opposing point of view last week, commenting that Kaepernick was not “all that good anyway,” on account of his losing record as a pro starter and other on-field factors. In terms of specific teams, he opined that it wouldn’t make sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign the former 49ers star, even as a backup to Roethlisberger’s erstwhile replacement, second-year man Mason Rudolph.