Ten teams that never should have passed on Colin Kaepernick


Yesterday, Colin Kaepernick agreed to a six-year, $126-million contract extension that included an NFL record $61 million guaranteed. Now, there are plenty of clauses in the deal that make it difficult for the 49ers quarterback to earn the entire amount. But one thing was made perfectly clear when he inked the deal: Kaepernick is an elite quarterback in the NFL.

A team doesn’t make someone the second-highest paid signal caller in the league if he’s not in that category. They don’t give him more money than Super Bowl winners like Joe Flacco, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. The $126 million speaks volumes.

Kaepernick is in that class because the 49ers know what they have in him; and they know how hard it would be to replace him. In a league where having a star quarterback is by far the most-important ingredient to building a winner, holding onto one when you have one is crucial.

It also suggests that a lot of teams have to be kicking themselves, as they watch Kaepernick develop into a star. During the 2011 NFL Draft, nearly every team in the league passed on the Nevada quarterback; as a result, he fell to the second round, going 36th overall. That means the teams that are currently starved for a quarterback could have had one; they whiffed on their chance to land Kaepernick at least once.

But not every team missed as bad as some. For a few franchises, the error was simply egregious.

With that in mind, here are the 10 teams that never should have passed on Colin Kaepernick:


10. Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel
The Vikings chose Ponder over Kaepernick

With the 12th overall pick in 2011, the Vikings reached for a quarterback, taking Christian Ponder out of Florida State. That has turned out to be the disaster many people predicted, as Minnesota has been looking for Ponder’s replacement seemingly ever since. For now, they’ve moved on to Teddy Bridgewater as the quarterback of the future. Time will tell if they finally found an answer.

9. Houston Texans

This is what’s in the Texans cupboard

The Texans only had one selection before Kaepernick was taken, and they drafted J.J. Watt at No. 11. So it’s hard to fault them on that pick. But they also thought Matt Schaub was the long-term answer at quarterback, so they weren’t even looking in that direction. Now that they are stuck with T.J. Yates, Case Keenum and whoever else might take snaps this season in Houston, that seems like a major miscalculation.


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  • Mc J

    I understand the intent of the article as each of these teams have been floundering. However you conveniently left out one glaring piece of information: Jim Harbaugh is a quarterback ‘whisperer’ and ‘guru’ as well as someone whom – thus far in his coaching career – has managed to get everything and more from his players (see: San Diego) Most of the teams that had passed on Kaepernick are under new leadership. The (potentially 126) million-dollar question is if that is result of bad coaching, bad quarterback-coaching or bad quarterbacks. Seeing how Gabbert turns out having become a member of the 49ers could shine some light.

  • maypac

    I think it’s too early to place Kaepernick in the category as a franchise player. 126 million for six years? What had he done other than flex and kiss his arm and choked in his first appearance in SB? I hope he will, but I doubt very much that he’ll win a SB. I’m sure 49er will but not because of him. Just saying.

  • Anonymous

    I think he and Russell Wilson both benefit from great Dfence .

  • mmp60

    Slow news day eh? So easy to a be a smart GM with hindsight… Montana, Brady, Rodgers, Favre… blah, blah, blah. I will not put Khokernick in the “elite” category until he proves it over time.

    Matt Schaub a washout? With one bad year? He’s been a top 10 – 15 QB most, if not all of his career, but one bad year and the great Buck Stanton, builder of countless championship teams, dubs him a washout. Buck off.

  • Lou

    Contract was $106.00 Million fro 6 Years not $126.00.

  • grover

    Seems the writer has a little draft day amnesia. The Raiders did trade up to grab Kaep, and the 49ers traded up right ahead of them and took him.

    • Sam

      Amnesia? Nah, probably didn’t know it in the first place!

  • Ken Lockwood

    Here is Alex Smith, $100 Million, and our First Round Picks for the next 3.years for KAP. We now have it right!