Colin Kaepernick would be the perfect candidate for a backup quarterback spot on the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Mark Van Sickle. The analyst wrote an article on Saturday laying out his case for why the former San Francisco 49ers starter would be a fit behind Patrick Mahomes.
Van Sickle said that Chiefs fans shouldn’t be concerned about the idea of the veteran making the team and that it makes quite a bit of sense considering the way the team’s roster is constructed.
Van Sickle made it clear there wouldn’t be a competition between Mahomes and Kaepernick for the starting spot. The issue is what the quarterback room looks like beyond the former NFL MVP. The Chiefs currently have veteran journeyman Chad Henne as the backup quarterback, and former University of Mississippi and the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu as the third-stringer. That, according to Van Sickle, means there is plenty of competition for Mahomes’ backup.
The analyst admitted there are some who point out that Kaepernick hasn’t played in the league since 2016. That was the year the quarterback began first sitting, and then kneeling during the national anthem. Critics claimed he was protesting the national anthem, but he said he was protesting police brutality and social injustice in America.
He had conferred with a former Marine in order to determine the best way to protest respectfully. Still, the 49ers let him go after the season and no other team has shown real interest in giving him a job.
Van Sickle pointed out that while it might have been a few years since Kaepernick played in the NFL, Ta’amu has never played a down in the league, and Henne hasn’t started since 2014. Henne, who turns 35 years old this month, has thrown five passes in the preceding 2,181 days. Kaepernick has thrown 959 passes over the same period.
As to whether or not Kaepernick could run the Chiefs’ offense, the analyst pointed out the first quarterback head coach Andy Reid tasked with starting at quarterback was Alex Smith. Smith lost his starting job on the 49ers to Kaepernick the previous season.
Van Sickle also pointed out Reid’s attack isn’t a simple drop-back passer approach. Mahomes has rushed for over 200 yards in each of the last two seasons. Kaepernick is arguably faster than the Chiefs’ current starting quarterback and is certainly faster than Smith was when he was brought to town.
Finally, the analyst believes talk of Kaepernick being a distraction in the locker room is most likely overstated. He believes that because the veteran would be joining the team as an obvious backup, and there would be no chance of a quarterback competition, the media frenzy would be lessened.