My hope would be that this article is the final word on Colin Kaepernick, but I sincerely doubt it. I’m going to lay out why the Kaepernick/NFL situation isn’t what most people think it is.
In 2011 Kaepernick was drafted to the 49ers in the second round. He served as a back-up to Alex Smith until week 10 of 2012 where Smith was injured in a game against the Rams. He rushed for 66 yards and a rushing td, on top of going 11/17 with 117 yards passing, however the game ended in a 24-24 tie. Kaepernick finished the rest of that season and ended up taking the 49ers all the way to the Superbowl. They ended up losing that game 34-31. It was the first time the 49ers had been to the Superbowl since 1994. If you look over Kaepernick’s stats by season; this is his best season for completion percentage and QB rating.
Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the 49ers front office decided to get rid of Alex Smith and make Colin Kaepernick the starter for the 2013 season. He started all 16 games getting his career high 21 passing touchdowns, and his second best QB rating. He missed almost half of his thrown passes that year resulting in his worst season completion percentage.
In 2014, the 49ers extended his contract for six years. This move makes little sense to me, and is also the only thing a person could bring up to claim he’s being black-balled by the NFL. My opinion is, they had hoped Kaepernick was the QB of the future and wanted to make sure they could keep him. The 49ers finished with an 8-8 record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
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I believe that the 2014 season is the first time we get to see the “real” Kaepernick. On September 17th he was fined for using inappropriate language on the field. He was then fined again in October for showing up to a post game press conference wearing Beats by Dre, when the NFL is sponsored by Bose. Say what you want about being fined for wearing the wrong headphones, if they fined him, that means it was in his contract. If you don’t like things in your contract, re-negotiate(change), or don’t sign it. But when you sign a contract you’re agreeing to the terms it specifies regardless of how small an issue.
In 2015, Kaepernick was removed as starter in favor of Blaine Gabbert prior to week 9. The
move came after a total collapse to the Rams, resulting in a 27-6 loss. By Thanksgiving the 49ers had announced that Colin Kaepernick would miss the rest of the season due to a left shoulder injury that required surgery.
At the start of the 2016 season, after having thumb and knee surgery in addition to his shoulder surgery, Kaepernick was underweight and lost muscle mass. New Head Coach Chip Kelly(don’t get me started on him.), made him compete for the starting job. Blaine Gabbert beat him for the starting job and opened the season for the 49ers. By week 6 Chip Kelly announced that Kaepernick would be starting.
He lost to the Bills and then to the Dolphins. The latter game would be the only noteworthy of the two. He joined Randal Cunningham, Marcus Mariota, Michael Vick, & Cam Newton to throw 3 touchdowns and over 100 yards rushing in the same game. A feat certainly, but one game doesn’t tell you if a QB is good over a whole season. Following those two losses he started against the Bears but only recorded 4 passing yards before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert, though the game was a loss anyway.
The whole 2016 season was a train wreck from beginning to end with Chip Kelly as the Head Coach(Big Surprise). They ended up going 2-14 with Blaine Gabbert winning the season opener. Kaepernick would get the second with a game winning drive against the Rams with a 2-point conversion.
(Here's a link to Kaepernick's Career Stats.)
Following the tragic 2016 season Chip Kelly was fired and Kyle Shannahan was named the new Head Coach. Kyle Shannahan didn’t think Kaepernick would fit with the offensive style he was planning, so the 49ers informed him they were releasing him. He chose to opt out of his contract and has remained a free agent since.
The entire 2016 season also brought the Kaepernick kneeling fiasco. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions when it comes to this, but there’s only one fact that remains whether you like it or not. The NFL, is a privately owned company. The team’s are also privately owned, meaning that the owner can decide what constitutes appropriate conduct for their team. Kneeling, if nothing else, is certainly a distraction. A distraction that many owner’s don’t want to deal with, nor should they have to.
In closing, if you give an honest look at Colin Kaepernick’s performance and his stats, he’s not that great of a quarterback. You couple that with the drama he brings into your locker room, I don’t blame owner’s for not wanting him. Leave me a comment with your thoughts and please check out my most recent football episode on Mayhem Original. Click the links and buy something to help support myself and Americas Tribune.
Johnathan D. Edmonds