Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played an NFL game since 2016, and he has been the subject of speculation from almost every angle possible. There are passionate lines divided concerning this man’s career on and off the field. Nowadays, the flammable Kaepernick debate is mainly centered on the question of whether he should continue trying to return to the NFL.
Bleacher Report reports Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis believes Kaepernick still deserves a shot at returning to the NFL.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis said this week. “He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”
The support and advocacy from Davis are great for Kaepernick, and I’m sure Kaepernick will try to leverage this support in the near future to bolster his attempt at an NFL return. When there’s a white team owner showing support for Kaepernick — who hasn’t received much support from NFL owners (who’ve in fact widely blackballed him from the league themselves) — it helps open up the conversation about whether deserves a spot in this league.
Davis advocating support for Kaepernick is cool and all six years later, but until Kaepernick is offered and signs a deal with a team, it’s all just words that make Davis look good in the media.
Mark Davis has the power, influence, and connections to make something happen. He could have signed the former Super Bowl QB anytime he wanted. With the public support that Kaepernick receives from fans and corporations alike on a daily basis, why doesn’t Davis go all in and help the brother get an actual contract with a team?
Kaepernick has recently gone on public record saying he will take any role in the NFL to get his foot back in the door, and once he’s felt like he’s proved enough he wants to take the next step up and become a starting quarterback again.
“I know I have to find my way back in,” Kaepernick said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that’s fine. But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door.”
It’s a longshot that Kaepernick ever takes over Carr’s starting role, but backups Nick Mullens and Garrett Gilbert are definitely expendable. The two have only combined for 5,338 passing yards throughout their careers, while Kaepernick has thrown for over 12,000 passing yards in his. It’s not crazy to think that you can bring Kaepernick on for a year or two in a backup capacity to play again and bring some value back to his name as a player.
Kaepernick could very well come to the Raiders as a backup, and eventually, move on to be a starter on another team. One-year “show me” deals are common in every sport and specifically with the valuable quarterback position. Once teams have seen Kaepernick play good football at a high level again, somebody desperate for a veteran game manager who can throw and run, might take a chance on him becoming their starter.
Most NFL owners are still extremely hesitant to jump at Kaepernick because of the fans they might potentially lose who don’t support his national anthem protesting in the past. However, those fans have been falling by the waste side and the contempt against Kaepernick’s fight for social justice has subsided with him out of the picture.
Teams also aren’t sure if , who hasn’t played in six years, has what it takes to throw the football at a high level again. Last but not least, coaches aren’t sure about what this added publicity and attention would do to the locker room and how it might become a distraction, shifting the team’s focus away from football.
It’s quite a stretch to think one backup quarterback would affect team chemistry so negatively. We will never find out if nobody signs him. With Mark Davis’ support of the quarterback, there might be newfound optimism that Kaep will be back on an NFL roster soon enough.