Cincinnati Bengals rookie sensation Joe Burrow suffered a torn ACL during Sunday’s showdown against the Washington Football Team. His expected recovery time is set at 9 to 12 months.
With Burrow out, Cincinnati’s quarterback options consist of Ryan Finley and Brandon Allen. For obvious reasons, many have begun to question whether the organization may take a look at signing Colin Kaepernick.
“Then there’s Colin Kaepernick,” wrote Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “Remember him? He’s the guy who was shunned by the NFL as of 2017. He’s the guy who raised concerns about police interactions with minority men and women. He’s the guy who many realized had been vindicated after the public execution of George Floyd.”
So will Kaepernick get the call from Cincinnati? According to Florio – the answer is a resounding no.
“Kaepernick won’t be contacted,” he continued.
“Kaepernick won’t be offered a chance to work out for the Bengals. Kaepernick won’t be offered a contract for the minimum salary for the balance of the year. It just won’t happen. The ship has sailed. The lights are out. The party is over. The book is closed. Many other cliches could be used to convey the idea that it’s just done.”
Paulina Gretzky has taken Masters victory celebrations to a new level. https://t.co/K1yliTiGao
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 22, 2020
Back in 2019 the NFL was hit with a pandemic of quarterback injuries. A lot of notable insiders believed that if ever there was a time when an organization could justify doing something as “controversial” or “polarizing” as signing Kaepernick, that was it.
Of course, even then, nobody called Kaepernick.
This offseason, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell officially signaled that it was okay to do business with Kaepernick again. He did everything but wrap his arms around the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and give him a hug.
Gordon Hayward’s wife has never been one to bite her tongue. https://t.co/4yVNe8pMbU
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 21, 2020
And even still, nobody called Kaepernick.
At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that no matter what quarterback gets hurt, regardless of the circumstances, Kaepernick will not be called.
Kaepernick will go down in sports history as a fascinating what-if story.
You love to see it. https://t.co/rfGuc5GNwi
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 21, 2020
The former University of Nevada standout experienced some very high points early on with the San Francisco 49ers, including leading the team to an NFC Championship game showing against the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in 2013. For his troubles, he was rewarded with a six-year extension worth up to $126 million.
Sadly, things took a turn for him shortly thereafter. In 2014, the Niners finished 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in four years. Head coach Jim Harbaugh departed to Michigan, and Kaepernick never achieved the level of success he had under him again.
Thanks in part to having played for back-to-back awful coaches in Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly, and multiple injuries that dimmed his bright star a bit, Kaepernick’s stock began to fall dramatically.
Paulina Gretzky knows how to celebrate. https://t.co/CH5WJHxifE
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 20, 2020
Still, even though he no longer looked like the player he had been just a few years earlier, Kaepernick still put together a fairly solid 2016 campaign on the field. He finished the season with 2,241 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, four picks and added 468 yards on the ground.
That offseason, new team head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed a desire to move on from Kaepernick because he didn’t fit the young coach’s desired offensive scheme. The decision made sense. But Kaepernick was objectively still good enough to at the very least be backup in the NFL – if folks were going strictly by on-the-field measures.
However, 2016 marked another turning point for Kaepernick’s career. It was when he opted to kneel for the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.
Poor Kyle Kuzma out here catching strays. https://t.co/AoWC9QuGv6
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 18, 2020
The move, although now no longer seen in the same way it was back in then, made him persona non grata in the NFL. He was deemed more trouble than he was worth, and it resulted in him not getting picked up by any teams in the offseason. Kaepernick never played another down in the NFL again.
These days, every sport has players kneeling for the National Anthem. It is no longer controversial in the same way it was four years ago.
It’s obviously natural for many to wonder whether Kaepernick may get another shot in the NFL. But the Bengals lack of interest in him should confirm once and for all what should have been obvious long ago: Kaepernick will never play professional football again.