The attorney for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has repoertedly requested cell phone records and is scheduling depositions from at least 5 NFL team owners as he pursues a grievance alleging collusion against signing the QB to an NFL contract.
Kaepernick is claiming the league blackballed him after he started kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at games last season. Kaepernick said he was trying to draw attention to the mistreatment of blacks by police, but the gesture was not well received.
Many fans protested the action, a drop in TV ratings was attributed in part to anger over Kaepernick, and President Donald Trump–never one to pass up the opportunity to create division–said players like Kaepernick should be fired.
So has Kaepernick been blackballed? That will be tough to prove, but there is some compelling evidence to suggest he has become too hot to handle in the eyes of many team officials.
The owner of the New York Giants said during the off-season that fans would revolt if the team signed Kaepernick, and there is strong evidence the owner of the Baltimore Ravens vetoed an attempt by coach John Harbaugh to bring him in as a backup.
No team has made an effort to sign him since he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March despite the loss of several marquee quarterbacks, bad play by several so-called starters, and general offensive ineptitude that has led to the lowest scoring since 2009.
Let’s be clear: Kaepernick never developed into the marquee QB the 49ers envisioned when they drafted him, but he did get them to 1 Super Bowl, and his skill set exceeds that of several quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters.
For starters, you have teams like Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), Indianapolis (Andrew Luck), Arizona (Carson Palmer), Minnesota (Teddy Bridgewater) and Miami (Ryan Tannehill/Jay Cutler) whose starters went down with injuries and are playing backups–some of them terrible backups.
Then there are teams like the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos. Houston started the season with Tom Savage at QB, but benched him at half-time after an epic melt down during the first two quarters of the season.
He was replaced by rookie Deshaun Watson, who played well until he injured an ACL this week. Guess who’s going to start Sunday for the Texans: Savage.
Savage got a chance to start at the end of last season because Brock Osweiler, who the team lured away from Denver with a big bucks free agent deal, turned out to be a bust. Houston then gave Cleveland a ton of free agents to take his contract off their hands.
Osweiler couldn’t even cut it with the Browns, who are currently tied with the 49ers for the worst record in the NFL at 0-8. Cleveland cut him loose and Denver took him back.
Osweiler is starting Sunday’s game because the guy who was supposed to replace him, Trevor Siemian, isn’t getting the job done. Would you say the Broncos are desperate?
Then there’s the Chicago Bears, who benched starter Mike Glennon for the team’s QB of the future, Mitch Trubinsky. Alas, Chicago had so little confidence in him that they let him throw a total 7 passes in his first start (but he did complete 4).
The Bears and Tennessee hold the distinction of winning games this season without scoring an offensive touchdown, something that happens about once a decade.
Then there’s the 49ers. They signed well-traveled journeyman Brian Hoyer as a placeholder this season, but he was so bad they replaced him with untested rookie C.J. Beathard. Now he’s going to be replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo, who San Francisco got in a trade with New England.
And who did the Patriots sign to a 3-year deal to back-up Tom Brady? Hoyer, who works cheap and knows the system–they cut him once before.
None of these teams can use Colin Kaepernick?