With the start of NFL training camps upon us and the league focused on safety protocols amidst the ongoing pandemic, this would be the perfect time for a team to sneakily sign Colin Kaepernick. The last time he worked out for NFL teams, it was clear that Kaepernick was still in good shape and still had plenty left in his arm. Equally important, several teams could use him in 2020.
The Jaguars look intent to give Gardner Minshew a chance to be the team’s starter after he gave them a little spark last season. But did Minshew do enough last year to solidify the starting job? Keep in mind that head coach Doug Marrone is clearly on the hot seat heading into the 2020 season.
The Jaguars would be wise to bring in Kaepernick to at least see if he can beat Minshew fair and square in a quarterback competition. It’s not like the Jaguars are heavily invested in Minshew, who was only a sixth-round pick. The upside with Kaepernick starting is higher than with Minshew, making him worth the risk for Jacksonville, who is undoubtedly at the bottom of the AFC South pecking order heading into the season.
Obviously, the Steelers would have to convince Kaepernick to be a backup because he’s not going to start if Ben Roethlisberger is healthy after last year’s elbow injury. Of course, not only is Roethlisberger coming back from injury, but he’s also 38 years old. His health is far from a guarantee at this point in his career.
The Steelers should have learned last season that they need an upgrade from Mason Rudolph at the backup quarterback spot. Kaepernick would be a better insurance policy for Roethlisberger’s health than Rudolph or Devlin Hodges.
It’s curious why the Broncos didn’t take a closer look at Cam Newton before the Patriots grabbed him. Clearly, Denver saw enough from Drew Lock late in 2019 to give him a fair shot in 2020. But taking a chance on Kaepernick seems worthwhile.
With Newton, they would have made him the starter, but with Kaepernick, they can force Lock to compete and earn the job during training camp. The Broncos don’t have much to lose by doing that. Keep in mind that they’re lacking a proven backup and have a lot of young wide receivers, so having a veteran quarterback on the roster couldn’t hurt.
Seattle is another team where Kaepernick would know ahead of time that he’d be the backup. But there are worse jobs in the NFL than backing up Russell Wilson.
Of course, Wilson has started all 16 games in each of his eight pro seasons, so Kaepernick may not get much of a chance to play. That being said, the Seahawks currently have Geno Smith as their backup to Wilson, so bringing Kaepernick would likely be viewed as an upgrade.
It’d be hard to find a better veteran to serve as a mentor both on and off the field for Kyler Murray than Kaepernick. The Cardinals, of course, would have to convince Kaepernick that it’d be worthwhile to come to Arizona as the backup for a young quarterback on the rise.
However, there’s little question that he has the skillset to excel in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense if called upon. Given his size and willingness to run around, it’s fair to question Murray’s durability, which could open the door for Kaepernick to play, selling him on the Cardinals as a good destination.