As many had previously anticipated, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers earlier this month, changing agents who were quick to let the world know that Colin would no longer be protesting the National Anthem in the future. But his agents efforts at damage control may have been too late as NFL teams have shown no interest in acquiring Kap’s services.
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Here we examine some of the opinions on why Kap may have played his last NFL snap:
Racism: You don’t have to look long on NFL twitter to know that there are quite a few NFL bloggers, reporters, pundits who feel that the lack of interest surrounding Kap is due to racism. And while I firmly believe that America has problems with race and that it can affect perceptions and judgment, I would argue that this is the least significant factor in the lack of interest in Kap. Imagine an NFL where GM’s did not pursue players because they were black. How would that NFL look? Yeah, that’s what I thought. And for those who say that people who disagreed with his anthem protest are racist, I would ask you to consider the black players who have gone on record disagreeing with the method of his anthem protest.
Anthem Protest: This is the act that divided a nation to some degree, causing outrage in some but inspiration in others. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Kap, one cannot argue that he was acting out some emotions through his protest and bottom line is that any private business worth billions of dollars is entitled to make the best choices for the organization and that will usually include avoiding employees who act out. Whether the cause is just or worthy is immaterial. Kap’s agents saying he has flip-flopped and will now stand for the anthem only supports our hypothesis that Kap’s activism was well intentioned but also a superficial gesture that also allowed him to act out his anger toward the 49ers and the decline of his skills and NFL career, which brings me to the most compelling argument.
Kap’s QB skills are lacking: At the end of the day, if Colin Kaepernick displayed outstanding football acumen over the past two seasons, he likely would never had protested and we would not be having a conversation about why no one wants to sign him. The beauty of sports is the honesty of the playing field – one can prove their worth there but it also can quickly reveal flaws – and Colin Kaepernick has still not proven he can sit in the pocket, read a defense quickly and swiftly deliver the ball with accuracy to a down-field receiver. And you think this is going to get better after he turns 30? At the end of the 2016 season, Colin Kaepernick finished with a DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) of -149 which ranked 30 out of 34 QBs, DVOA ( Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) of -17.7% which ranked 30 out of 34 QBs and had a QBR of 55.2 which ranked 23rd out of 34 QBs.
Some bleeding hearts will continue to rationalize Kap’s stats as being due to lack of supporting cast, but we all saw this decline begin in Harbaugh’s last season when they still had players. Yes, Kap might be able to serve as a back-up in the NFL but would you sign a back-up with as much personal baggage as him? Are his football skills worth it? Based on the lack of NFL interest, Kap might best divert his energy to moving to New York, getting into graduate school and pursuing political activism in a dedicated, thorough manner.