Free agency is a little over two weeks old and QB Colin Kaepernick is still a free agent. Some think he’s being “black-balled” while others think he’s simply a shell of what he formerly was. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
In case you missed it, last year Colin Kaepernick took a seat, and eventually a knee, to raise awareness for the unequal treatment of minorities, especially black Americans, in the United States. Other players around the league joined him (including RB Arian Foster, DB Michael Thomas, LB Jelani Jenkins and WR Kenny Stills) but it was Kaepernick that became the “poster boy” for this movement and he took the brunt of the media backlash.
Fast forward to this week, where some fans and media (including Miami Herald’s Greg Cote) have ramped up a groundswell movement to have Kaepernick signed by the Dolphins. While some will summarily dismiss the notion completely, let’s look at the “Pros and Cons” of the idea.
Why Colin Kaepernick and the Dolphins are a good fit.
Whatever you think of his stance/kneel, on the field Kaepernick is still a pretty good QB. Despite the team’s woes, if you look at Colin’s stats, he threw for 2,241 yards 16 TDs with only 4 INTs in 12 games last year.
Secondly, Kaepernick has a proven record of success in the playoffs. Consider that Kaepernick took the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship games under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Meanwhile, Miami hasn’t won a playoff game in 16 years.
Finally, with Kaepernick on the Dolphins roster, he instantly becomes the most athletic QB on the team. Tannehill is coming off a major knee injury and Matt Moore was never considered a scrambling QB. If Tannehill goes down again, whether for one game or the season, HC Adam Gase has to change the offense less for Kaepernick than he does for Moore.
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Reasons against Miami signing Kaepernick.
The main reason to pass on Kaepernick is the same reason most teams are. He brings unwanted media attention to the team and could be a huge distraction just by his presence on the team. On top of that, Miami may be a worse fit than most other places because of the second controversy that Kaepernick started.
His t-shirt depicting Malcolm X meeting with Fidel Castro and his subsequent praise of Cuban leader Fidel Castro during a conference call with South Florida media created a major blacklash in the Miami area. If you want to read more about the story, you can click on Armando Salguero’s Miami Herald column from last November here. http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/armando-salguero/article117033883.html
Even If you put both of those factors aside, and that’s a big “if”, the team is still left with a couple of other issues that bringing Kaepernick here would create.
A possible “quarterback controversy” could ensue if Tannehill gets off to a slow start at the beginning of the 2017 season. While bringing Colin to Miami probably wouldn’t cause the coaching staff to waiver on Tannehill, it could cause fans to turn on him in a hurry.
It’s no secret that many Dolphins fans have had a rocky relationship with current quarterback Ryan Tannehill. During the past week, there have been fans on social media clamoring for Miami to sign Kaepernick and cut/trade Tannehill. While that thought is absurd, nevertheless it gives some insight into the fickle nature of the fan support Tannehill has going into this offseason.
The other major problem with signing Kaepernick would be the message sent to the locker room. Miami has made it a point to create an atmosphere of “family” by making the resigning of their own free agents a priority.
Bringing Kaepernick in probably means the end of Matt Moore’s time in Miami; as you wouldn’t keep him around as the 3rd quarterback. Matt Moore has been invaluable to the QB room the last 4 years and is loved/respected by teammates. Kicking him out the door for a player (Kaepernick) that had been rumored to lack leadership qualities in San Francisco could violently disrupt the chemistry of the team.
Of course there are other factors that make signing Kaepernick a dicey proposition (his desire to compete for the starting job, money) but those are probably smaller obstacles compared to the ones listed above.
Are there teams that should sign Colin Kaepernick? I can think of quite a few that would improve the team’s QB situation. Would he be a good fit in Miami? I could see the possible upside but, when you weigh all the factors, there is little doubt that the negatives clearly outweigh the potential positives.