With some NFL Preseason games approaching, teams will be looking to trim their rosters to that magical number of 53. This could potentially mean good news for Colin Kaepernick, who is still searching for his newest team.
Although there is speculation he is being “blackballed” by the NFL, many still see him as a serviceable back-up. With Colin having experience at the NFL level, let’s take a look at some potential landing spots for him.
Everyone knows that when healthy, Cam Newton is the fully-entrenched starter in Carolina with no debate needed. After him though, the rest of the depth chart seems pretty underwhelming.
With Cam Newton nursing a minor injury, that leaves Derek Anderson and Joe Webb to potentially take snaps.
Talk about one of the least intimidating depth charts for an opposing defense. While Anderson appeared in 5 games during the 2016 season, his stats didn’t exactly pop off the screen.
According to NFL.com stats, he threw for only 453 yards and 2 touchdowns while tossing 5 interceptions, not exactly stellar. Kaepernick would give the Panthers a little bit of insurance if Newton were to suffer an injury and miss time, as he has so frequently.
Oh, the Cleveland Browns.
On one hand, Cody Kessler was a competent starter, completing 65.6% of his passes with six touchdowns and only 2 interceptions.
On the other hand, Kessler put up an 0-8 record that may have had more to do with the team around him rather than his play.
Bringing Colin into the mix for Cleveland would have such little risk involved it’s almost astounding. Giving him a chance to compete with Osweiler, Kessler, and rookie DeShone Kizer wouldn’t hurt.
NEW YORK JETS
Now, while saying Colin Kaepernick could only start for the Browns or the Jets seems unfair, it makes logistical sense.
The Jets are prepared to roll out one of Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, or Christian Hackenberg. On paper, McCown seems to be the best option, as he fields more experience than the other two options listed.
However, McCown went 0-3 in his three starts for the Browns last season, is 38 years old, and ended up completing a meager 54.5% of his passes during the 2016 season.
This also factors in a 6:6 touchdown to interception ratio, according to Pro Football Reference.
Surely Colin Kaepernick would be able to get a shot here, or maybe the Jets are in “tank-job” mode.
The Jaguars are a team on the rise.
New workhorse running back, multiple threats at receiver, and a defense strengthened immensely by the draft and off-season acquisitions the past few years.
So, what’s holding these guys back?
The quarterback position.
Blake Bortles, who has shown flashes over the past few seasons, is an under-performer at the most crucial position.
According to ESPN.com, he has completion percentages of 58.9, 58.6, and 58.9, respectively, the past three seasons. Although he reached a career-high in passing touchdowns in 2015 with 35, he’s still far too turnover-prone.
Between combined interceptions and fumbles lost, Bortles has totals of 18, 20, and 17 in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.
According to ESPN.com, Colin Kaepernick has more total touchdowns scored than turnovers committed in EACH of the past FIVE seasons.
Bortles has only done that twice in the past three seasons.
Kaepernick would give the Jaguars flexibility on offense and would minimize the mistakes that have lost the Jaguars close games.
Those listed above are merely a couple of potential destinations where Colin Kaepernick would be able to give some teams a boost.
Whether or not these teams choose to reach out to Colin or not remains to be seen though.
Considering the situations they’re currently in, it sure wouldn’t hurt to try, regardless of potential distractions.