Every time a quarterback gets hurt, Colin Kaepernick is the first name that comes up.
Kaepernick once led the 49ers to the Super Bowl and nearly led them to another, and there aren't a lot of Super Bowl quarterbacks in their prime who aren't currently on NFL rosters.
And with Nate Sudfeld now out indefinitely with a broken wrist and Carson Wentz’s injury history, why not here?
Many reasons. Many, many reasons. Here's a few of them:
1. They don’t need him: The Eagles don’t need a starting quarterback. They just signed Wentz to a long-term deal worth over $25 million per year, and Kaepernick has been clear that he’s not going to sign anywhere without a chance to compete for a starting position. That just isn’t going to happen here. This is a short-term opening. Sudfeld should be back somewhere around Week 4 through Week 6.
2. He’s too expensive: It’s been widely reported Kaepernick is looking for something around $10 million per year, and there’s no way the Eagles are going to invest anywhere close to that kind of money on a backup quarterback who would become the No. 3 quarterback in September or October. They like Sudfeld long term as a No. 2 and he showed why Thursday night before he got hurt.
3. He hasn’t played in 950 DAYS: Kaepernick hasn’t played one snap of football since the end of the 2016 season — Jan. 1, 2017, in a 49ers loss to the Seahawks. He hasn't even been in a camp since then. I’m sure he keeps himself in great shape, and the video he posted earlier this week shows him working out diligently. But no matter how fit you are, someone who hasn’t played football in three YEARS — hasn’t even practiced — is going to need a lot of time to get into football shape and teach their body to play football again. Think about how long it took Michael Vick to get into football shape when he signed here after a two-year layoff. Even if they signed Kaepernick today, by the time he learned the offense, got into football shape and developed familiarity with the Eagles’ receivers, Sudfeld would be back.
4. He’s six years removed from his last elite season: Kaepernick won just 11 of 35 starts his last three years in San Francisco, and his last winning season was in 2013, when he was 25. He wasn’t terrible his last three years with the 49ers, but his 85.9 passer rating ranked 26th of 35 QBs during that three-year span who threw at least 500 passes.
5. He doesn’t fit this offense: This is an offense predicated on a quarterback being accurate, having a high completion percentage, using all his weapons, going through his progressions and making the right read. Kaepernick’s career completion percentage is below 60 percent. Since he entered the league in 2011, he’s completed 59.8 percent of his passes, and among 25 quarterbacks who’ve thrown 1,500 passes since 2011 he ranks 22nd out of 25 in completion percentage. He’s always helped himself with his running ability — 2,300 yards and a 6.1 average in six seasons — but at 31 it’s not likely he’d be as effective as a runner.
6. Malcolm Jenkins: Malcolm Jenkins is an unquestioned leader on this football team and has been since he got here. Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid found themselves at odds with Jenkins on issues regarding the Players Coalition that negotiated with the NFL to try and resolve social justice concerns NFL players had with the league. Reid went as far as calling Jenkins a "sell-out" for negotiating a social justice partnership with the league, a characterization that Kaepernick supported. It's certainly possible Jenkins, Reid and Kaepernick have reconciled since, but would the Eagles risk creating a locker room schism involving one of their best and most popular players? I can't imagine.
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