Five NFL teams that fit Colin Kaepernick, should be interested in QB
The NFL would have you believe that Colin Kaepernick will have a legitimate opportunity to audition for NFL teams later this afternoon, but that is 100 percent B.S.
Sham. Joke. Lie. Whatever you want to call it, nothing about this is genuine.
One of two things is true:
Either A) an NFL team already has informed the league that it intends to sign Kaepernick, and Saturday's faux tryout is simply the NFL providing some camouflage for that team to delay the inevitable misguided outrage from a significant portion of its fanbase.
Or B) none of the teams in attendance actually plan on signing Kaepernick. It's all just for show.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday that at least 24 NFL teams are expected to attend Kaepernick's workout Saturday at the Falcons' training complex just outside of Atlanta. They certainly won't all be there with genuine intentions, but there are some teams for whom Kaepernick would be a better fit than others.
With that, here are the five best fits for Kaepernick:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
What better team to put its foot down in support of opportunity equality than the franchise that is responsible for the Rooney Rule?
Throughout their history, the Steelers have made a point of standing up for what's right, even if it might not be popular at the time. The late Dan Rooney was chairman of the NFL's diversity committee when he helped establish the Rooney Rule, which requires all teams seeking a head coach or front-office executive to interview at least one person of color. He personally hired current Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, and eventually went on to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Kaepernick is a two-time winner of the 49ers' Len Eshmont Award -- the franchise's most prestigious honor -- given to the player who best exemplifies inspirational and courageous play. He has also received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award for his spirit of activism and exceptional courage. You can be sure he would be the late Rooney's kind of guy.
And really, the Steelers have no reason to not sign Kaepernick. Did you see their loss to the Browns on Thursday night?
Second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph -- who's suffered at least one major concussion so far this season -- has been nothing special in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger, and he hit a new low in the loss to Cleveland in which he had four times as many interceptions as touchdown passes. Behind Rudolph is undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges, and that's it.
Despite losing their first three games, the Steelers currently sit at 5-5. They're unlikely to catch the Ravens within the division, who they play in Week 17 -- gee, I wonder who could do a great Lamar Jackson impression -- but a wild-card berth can't be ruled out.
If Pittsburgh is serious about a playoff push, Kaepernick should get a serious look.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Speaking of the Ravens, they're set at quarterback now and well into the future, as Lamar Jackson might strike more fear into opposing defenses than any other offensive player in the league. That said, he's thriving under the same offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, that Kaepernick had his best seasons under, and given the way Jackson plays, it might not be the worst idea to have some insurance, just in case.
Dynamic doesn't even begin to describe Jackson's rushing ability, but he does leave himself vulnerable to more hits as a result, and with that comes an inherently increased chance for injury. Baltimore has veteran Robert Griffin III and sixth-round rookie Trace McSorley backing him up, but outside of RG3's rookie season, it's not as if either of them have proven themselves to be a quality NFL-caliber quarterback.
The Ravens are one game behind New England for the best record in the AFC, and they already beat the Patriots earlier this year. With Baltimore looking like a legitimate championship contender, perhaps Roman would prefer to go with a known quantity behind Jackson, and one that he's gotten to the Super Bowl with before.
3. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have two quarterbacks on their roster, both of whom are dual-threats. Sound familiar?
Kyler Murray might be the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and sure looks worthy of having been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Brett Hundley, who backs him up, isn't nearly as impressive and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Kliff Kingsbury is regarded as an offensive genius, and surely he could find a way to make good use of Kaepernick's dual-threat skill set, similar to how he has with Murray. Kingsbury tied his own fate to Murray the second he jettisoned Josh Rosen to Miami, and you can expect Murray to take every snap for Arizona for the next decade, provided he is healthy enough to do so.
Murray is tiny by NFL standards, though, and odds are, he's eventually going to get banged up.
The Cardinals currently stink, but they're building up for the next few seasons to come. Kaepernick could be a useful piece within both phases.
4. Tennessee Titans
If you know what the Titans' plans at quarterback are moving forward, you're likely the only one.
Tennessee appears to have moved on from Marcus Mariota after the former No. 2 overall draft pick was benched in Week 6. Veteran Ryan Tannehill took over the starting job and has been his extremely mediocre-self in Mariota's place, although the Titans have won three of his four starts.
Both Mariota and Tannehill are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at season's end, so it would seem likely that Tennessee adds a new starter this coming offseason, either through free agency or the draft.
But why not see if Kaepernick can be that guy now? Nothing about Tannehill's career suggests he's a superior quarterback to Kaepernick (or Mariota, for that matter). The AFC South is totally up for grabs, and the 5-5 Titans are right in the thick of it. Even if they don't think Kaepernick can start, he still could be useful to Tennessee to help prepare for Houston's Deshaun Watson, who the Titans will face twice throughout the remainder of the regular season.
5. Denver Broncos
Outside of convincing Peyton Manning to come to Denver, it's difficult to point to anything John Elway has done right as the Broncos' general manager.
These are the quarterbacks the Broncos have used since Manning retired, a span over which Denver has gone 23-34: Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, and most recently, Brandon Allen, who at 27 years old just made his first career start in Week 10.
Nothing about that list should give anyone even the slightest bit of confidence that Elway knows how to evaluate quarterbacks.
That said, Elway and the Broncos tried to trade for Kaepernick in 2016 after Manning retired. They asked Kaepernick to take a pay cut, but the former 49ers quarterback declined and the trade went kaput. Elway didn't take kindly to being spurned by Kaepernick and later ruled him out of consideration to be Keenum's backup. However, time heals all wounds, right?
Perhaps the constant losing -- with no end in sight -- will cause Elway to reconsider. The Broncos are going nowhere fast, and Kaepernick brings more talent to the table than any other quarterback currently on their roster.