Many questions before Seahawks think of signing Colin Kaepernick
By Lee Vowell
Colin Kaepernick could be an excellent fit in the Seahawks offensive system. But Seattle would have to get answers to many questions before signing him.
Colin Kaepernick is a divisive figure. That is not breaking news. Hardly anyone is indifferent to Colin Kaepernick’s philosophical beliefs. The questions I am about to bring up, however, have little to do with whether Kaepernick stands, kneels, sits or whatever for the national anthem.
See, I don’t really care so much about Colin Kaepernick‘s political views if he were to put on a Seahawks uniform and be the backup quarterback to Russell Wilson. My concern would be if he can help Seattle win football games.
Colin Kaepernick and the Seahawks got intermingled again this week when Seattle coach Pete Carroll mentioned Kaepernick on his podcast, Flying Coach. Carroll said that Kaepernick was courageous for taking some of the political stands he has.
But Carroll also faced backlash for his comments because Seattle did not sign Kaepernick in 2018 because Kaepernick would not say whether he would kneel or stand for the national anthem. Carroll may have nixed any potential deal because of this.
Or Carroll may not have. We don’t actually know what happened. And it doesn’t matter now. Seattle, even though they re-signed 2019 backup Geno Smith, could still use an upgrade at Russell Wilson‘s back. Colin Kaepernick might be that but first, several questions would need to be answered.
Does Colin Kaepernick even want to play football again?
Last October, Sports Illustrated had an article stating Kaepernick’s representatives said Kaepernick still wants to play in the NFL and that he hadn’t really been given a chance to do so since he left the 49ers. This is true. No team, not even the Seahawks, have worked out Kaepernick.
And Colin Kaepernick doesn’t really seem to need football, right? Sure, football could pay him money to play, but Kaepernick could be a difference-maker elsewhere. Public speaker, politician, head of a non-profit? Kaepernick’s priorities might be better served elsewhere.
How ready would Colin Kaepernick be to help the Seahawks?
Backup quarterbacks have an all or nothing job. They are expected to not play but when they are forced to enter the game because the starter has gotten injured they need to immediately perform at a good level. To do so, a backup must shake off some rust.
In Kaepernick’s case, he hasn’t played since 2016. Three full seasons is a lot of football to miss. There should be no doubt Colin Kaepernick has the talent to play in the NFL and appears to still be in better physical condition than most humans, but if Kaepernick needs two or three games to play at a good level and were Wilson to be injured, that could be two or three Seahawks losses which would likely mean no playoffs.
How much would the Seahawks need to pay Colin Kaepernick?
This is probably the biggest question of all because the Seahawks cannot afford to pay a backup quarterback a lot of money. Geno Smith, according to Spotrac, will make $1,187,500 for the Seahawks in 2020. If Kaepernick wanted even as much as $2-3 million, he will have priced himself out of being a Seahawk.
Likely, Colin Kaepernick could help the Seahawks win some games. But the only way of having a chance of signing with Seattle is if Kaepernick would sign for Geno Smith-type money. Seattle needs edge rushers more than a backup quarterback. That may be the bottom line of any conversation about Kaepernick coming to Seattle to play.