Kaep not signed makes no sense
Maybe the debate in Broncos Country of “Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch?” is so hot because there’s no real good choice. After watching these young quarterbacks struggle to find a rhythm or give coach Vance Joseph any solid reason to declare one of them the team’s starter, are you telling me Colin Kaepernick couldn’t come to Denver and compete for the job?
But there’s a better chance you’ll see 57-year-old John Elway taking snaps for the Broncos than Kaepernick in 2017. Why?
Kaepernick is the Lord Voldemort of the NFL. He is the quarterback who must not be named … as a potential starter or even a backup, anywhere in a league where there aren’t enough competent signal-callers to go around.
So I asked commissioner Roger Goodell, who stopped by Broncos headquarters Thursday to hold a town hall with fans, if he believed the reason Kaepernick has been unable to get so much as a sniff of work in the NFL is punishment for his political activism.
“No,” replied Goodell, swiftly shooting down my theory. “As far as teams are concerned,
teams make a decision based on what’s the best decision for them. … And they make those decisions individually.”
In other words, Goodell wasn’t going to tackle the possibility Kaepernick is being blackballed. It wouldn’t be prudent, and Goodell is handsomely paid to protect the NFL shield.
Doesn’t that pretty much explain why nobody is willing to take a chance on Kaepernick? Rather than acknowledge he threw for 296 yards and rushed for 113 more in a game as recently as November, NFL teams would rather look right through those impressive numbers and hope Kaepernick disappears, because he put the league shield in an unfavorable light.
Yes, Kaepernick is flawed as a quarterback, and we have as proof his 28-30 career record at the professional level.
But it’s also fair to mention that Kaepernick has a lower career interception percentage (1.8) than Siemian (2.1), who’s regarded as a savvy game manager. If the metric for a comparative analysis is quarterback rating, Kaepernick (88.9) also has Siemian (84.6) beat.
Kaepernick, however, evidently committed an unforgivable sin by listening to his conscience and kneeling as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played prior to San Francisco 49ers games a year ago. His peaceful protest of societal injustice against black Americans was a real turnoff to a segment of pro football viewers, according to a survey conducted by J.D. Power. Among fans who claimed they watched less NFL on television in 2016, more than 25 percent listed the No. 1 reason for their dissatisfaction as the refusal of players such as Kaepernick and Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall to stand for the national anthem.
In fact, one of the 150 fans gathered in the Broncos’ indoor practice facility for the chat with Goodell expressed his concern for declining TV ratings as a result of un-American stances by players, and he wanted to know if the league planned to do anything to address on-field protests. The tenor of the question was laced with the politics of confrontation oh-so common at the moment in the United States.
The response from Goodell surprised me. Rather than taking great pains to appease a disgruntled fan, Goodell took the opportunity to praise Marshall for advocating social change through his anthem protest.
“I believe our players should be active in their communities, because I believe they are leaders in the community. I think they have a voice and should express it. I think it’s important to do it responsibly,” Goodell said. “It’s a great example with Brandon Marshall here, who went and worked with the police department and actually caused positive change in the community.”
Marshall’s anthem protest created a dialogue for positive change.
Goodell was gracious enough to stand up and praise Marshall. So why isn’t one of the 32 teams in Goodell’s league courageous enough to give Kaepernick a chance to play quarterback?
If Marshall is to be applauded, it makes no sense for Kaepernick to be exiled.