Kaepernick deserves to receive an NFL job
Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without a job in the NFL despite coming off a solid season in which he passed for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns with four interceptions and rushed for 468 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games for the San Francisco 49ers.
His career interception rate (1.8 percent) is tied for second best in NFL history, trailing only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (1.5 percent).
Yet that didn’t stop San Francisco from moving on and signing former Chicago Bears quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, the latter of whom threw 10 more interceptions in 2016 than Kaepernick in five fewer games.
It didn’t get Kaepernick, 29, the backup job in Arizona, either. Instead, the Car0dinals signed Blaine Gabbert, who was benched in favor of Kaepernick in San Francisco last season.
The Bears gave Mike Glennon — a backup with a career 59.4 percent completion rate — a threeyear, $45 million deal in March.
Kaepernick has a career adjusted net yards per pass figure of 6.1, higher than any of those players. That stat gives a bonus for throwing TD passes while penalizing a player for interceptions and sacks.
There has been speculation that Kaepernick — who guided the 2012 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance — is being blackballed by NFL teams because of the political statement he made last year when he refused to stand for the national anthem before games in protest of the treatment of African Americans in the United States.
But based on the numbers alone, it’s clear that Kaepernick deserves to be playing in the NFL.
If you look at Kaepernick’s 2016 Total Quarterback Rating (Total QBR), he would be an upgrade over at least half of the backups in the league, not including rookies.
That list includes Ryan Fitzpatrick, who reached a one-year deal with Tampa Bay on Friday to back up Jameis Winston.
Kaepernick (55.2) ranked 23rd out of 30 qualified passers in 2016 Total QBR, placing him ahead of starters such as Ryan Tannehill, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning and Fitzpatrick.
No one is suggesting Kaepernick has to be a starter, but the numbers clearly show he would be a smart addition as a backup.
One team appears to have some interest. Seattle Coach Pete Carroll has hinted that he could be considering Kaepernick as a backup to Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ backup, Trevone Boykin, has thrown 18 passes in the NFL.
There is no reason Kaepernick shouldn’t be at least a solid backup in the NFL. And Seattle would make a lot of sense.