Is Colin Kaepernick Joining the Jets or Steelers?
Is Colin Kaepernick joining the New York Jets or Pittsburgh Steelers?
According to ESPN First Take host Stephen A. Smith, a marriage between the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and either one of those teams would have made a lot of sense.
Smith recently appeared on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning and indicated his surprise at the fact that neither New York nor Pittsburgh reached out to Kaepernick.
“I called for Colin Kaepernick to get a tryout immediately,” Smith said.
“The Steelers didn’t even have a backup after Ben Roethlisberger went down.
“Rudolph, Mason Rudolph goes in there and they’ve got to go and get somebody off the scrap meat.
“The Jets, Sam Darnold got mono, Trevor Siemian might have broken his ankle, we don’t even know who you’ve got now.
“Those are two teams right there that desperately need a quarterback.”
Kaepernick has been out of the league since 2016 after publicly refusing to stand during the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said at the time.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.
“There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
As a result of Kaepernick’s stance, he was essentially blackballed from the NFL despite putting up fairly solid numbers in his final year.
During his last year with the Niners, Kaepernick put up 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns with just 4 interceptions.
On top of that, he did it on a 90.7 rating.
That season, he started in 11 of the 12 games he played and proved himself as more than competent enough as a quarterback to deserve a starting or backup gig in the NFL.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 4, 2019
“There is no excuse why Colin Kaepernick should not be getting a call,” Smith added.
“I will say this though: I’m not sure if this is accurate, but I’m told that his agent has called many folks on his behalf and not getting returned phone calls,” he continued.
“I don’t mean to be in somebody’s business like this, but you may want to rethink that agent because let me tell you something, it’s moments like this where you have to have someone with clout where they’re going to get their phone calls returned.
“You’re in a different kind of situation. And I’m not advocating getting rid of him because if you’re riding or dying, the loyalty matters; please don’t get me wrong.
“What I’m saying is: in our line of work, there are some agents who have more cache than others.”
Kaepernick, 31, holds the NFL records for most rushing yards by a quarterback in one game and most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single postseason.
The big problem for Kaepernick now is that the time for either the Jets or Steelers to sign him may have passed.
Rudolph proved himself to be a competent replacement for Ben Roethlisberger in the team’s 27-3 thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals this past Monday night.
In that game, he threw 229 yards and two touchdowns (with no interceptions) on 24-of-28 passing.
The Jets are a slightly different story.
Luke Falk was awful against the New England Patriots in his last game.
He threw for 98 yards and one interception on 12-of-22 passing.
What is working against Kaepernick in this case, though, is that Darnold appears to be on the mend from his mono diagnosis.
“I like our odds better than what they’ve been,” head coach Adam Gase said of Darnold possibly returning this week.
“Last week, if we would’ve been playing again, I would’ve said it’s very low.
“I like the fact that things have looked and progressed in the right direction.
“But I don’t know what that 5 percent is. There’s some gray still there.”
With the Jets and Steelers seemingly getting their quarterback situations sorted for now, the likelihood of either team finding a spot for Kaepernick now seems fairly slim.