Alright so let’s chat about Kaepernick for a bit. I’ve mostly avoided that whole thing outside one guest comic early in the year. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to make a comic, I just never really came up with anything decent, and the situation felt like it was ever swinging that I kept sort of pushing it off to see how it played out. I was ultimately on Kaep’s side. He was making a peaceful protest, his given right as an American, and most of the people who were angry seemed like they didn’t quite understand why he was protesting or misconstrued it into something it wasn’t (It was never about the damn troops). I didn’t agree with everything. When he wore the “pig cops” socks or whatever it was, that was the wrong move and I don’t think it helped him. But it was pretty hard for me to side with anyone who thought he was a terrorist or bad when all he was doing was a kneel down, and doing a lot to help causes. Kaep over the past year has been a far better Christian than most of the Christians who hate him.
So now with him gone from the 49ers, he hasn’t found a job yet, and the two sides argue ever on. Now there seem to be slightly different sides. One side is the “SJW” side, that feel he’s basically out of a job pretty much soley due to his protests, and there is the “ignorant or racist” side, which is more about how Kaep sucks as a player and his protesting is mostly irrelevant. Since it’s the internet and middle ground does not exist, few are accepting that the truth is Kaepernick doesn’t have a job because of both. Everyone is kinda right here.
Kaepernick is absolutely being blackballed by racist idiots. There are a lot of people being willfully ignorant because they don’t want to admit that politics are part of sports. These are the “stick to sports” people, who view the “issues” as annoying real world problems that they shouldn’t have to deal with in their escapist entertainment. I get it, the world sucks, and football is good. Football is not this “pure” bubble they want it to be. You can’t ignore the related problems and everything is politics. Stick to Sports people are deluding themselves.
But it’s not like Kaepernick is some great player held back by the man. He’s not very good. He hasn’t grown as a player. His best years were on stacked teams, and he has not fixed his flaws. He still can’t throw a touch medium range pass. He still can’t read a defense. He still panics under pressure and doesn’t seem to have a decision making process. He can throw to an open man, but he can’t throw open a man, which is a hallmark of a great QB. Kaepernick is also asking for pretty decent money, and that has to turn some teams off.
It’s both of these factors together that are keeping Kaep unemployed. Take away his activisim and he probably has a job. Make him a good QB and he probably has a job. Not 100% guarantee has a job in either scenario, but probably has a job or much better prospects than he’s currently looking at.
Kaep is suffering from a long trend of something I call the Tebow effect. Basically, in a very general sense, players in the NFL (and sports, and in life honestly), need to be worth their baggage. If a player is not worth the accompanying baggage, he won’t get signed. This ratio is different for every team, etc, I’m talking very generally here. Baggage is any drama, distraction, or element that does not have to do with the player’s ability. I use Tebow as an example because Tebow had one of the biggest discrepancies in his “baggage / skill” ratio I’ve ever seen. Tebow was a very meh player at best. Tebow’s hype is probably the biggest hype I’ve ever witnessed, especially for a player of his low caliber. He wasn’t worth the frenzy that came with him. When Tebow fans talk about how Tebow got screwed over, I honestly agree to some extent. But Tebow fans don’t seem to get the reason Tebow got screwed over was because they wouldn’t shut up about him. Tebow without the hype probably has a longer career. Maybe he even eventually becomes the player his fans already saw him as. But what team wants to pick up a backup level QB who immediately destroys any cohesion because of how much media frenzy comes with it? If I was Rex Ryan that season, I probably would have resented Tim Tebow too, why is this crappy backup the most talked about player on my team?
You could honestly call the problem “the TO effect”. or the “Ray Rice” effect. It doesn’t matter. If you have a lot of baggage, you have to be a better player to be worth it, because teams hate distraction. Coaches want uniformity, they want a cohesive unit, and anything that hurts that is a flaw. A little baggage isn’t even a bad thing, some press is better than no press, especially for small market teams. But once you hit a certain level of discrepancy, you are un-signable. Greg Hardy was a huge dickweed, but he was still viewed as very good. The Cowboys took a chance, and it turned out he was actually a bigger scumbag and a worse player, and he will never play again. Josh Brown was a dick, but because he was a good kicker, and kickers don’t get press as it is, he didn’t actually have all that much baggage until midseason when the ongoing story had more facts come out and the mounting pressure made him a liability. Tom Brady has a metric fuckton of baggage, (he can’t fart without a story about it and tons of bostonites saying it’s the GOAT fart, supreme smell and all) but Tom Brady is also very good at football. Beckham has high baggage, but is also very good at football, and anyone who thought the Giants should trade or bench him were really stupid. That was never going to happen unless Beckham suddenly turned into a pumpkin (like against Green Bay, but for like half a season first).
Kaep simply isn’t good enough to be worth the rest of the baggage that comes with him. At least right now. He could absolutely start on several teams. He’s an automatic upgrade on the Rams, Browns, Bears, Jets, Broncos, Texans, and ironically the 49ers right now, even though the Rams wouldn’t take him because they invested in Goff. He’s debate-ably an upgrade for the Jags and possibly Dolphins and the Bills if the Bills ditched Tyrod. He’s an easy upgrade at backup for most of the league. There is enough talent left to be worth an investment.
Ultimately, I think Kaep will have a team in 2017, but it won’t be till after the draft, when QB needy teams have now had a chance to address the problem in the draft and now have a better idea how their roster might look. I think Cutler stays unemployed for the same period of time. He also has baggage and also sucks.
One thing we can all agree on: his fro is fucking amazing.