BR- It's more than a week into free agency and Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed. Remember, this is a quarterback who played in the Super Bowl only four years ago, yet now it appears he can't get a look from teams. So I set out to discover, once and for all, what teams think of the 29-year-old former Niner.
"He can still play at a high level," one AFC general manager said. "The problem is three things are happening with him.
"First, some teams genuinely believe that he can't play. They think he's shot. I'd put that number around 20 percent.
"Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.
"Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can't stand what he did [kneeling for the national anthem]. They want nothing to do with him. They won't move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did."
Well folks, we've finally found it. The line that General Managers won't cross when it comes to potentially improving their team. After decades upon decades of excusing their employees criminal behavior, we have finally unearthed the one transgression that NFL executives deem inexcusable...
Kneeling in response to racial profiling and police brutality during the National Anthem.
You can be caught up in rape allegations and still get drafted first overall a la Jameis Winston. You can more than likely be an accomplice in a murder and still have a statue constructed in your honor a la Ray Lewis. You can incoherently pass out drunk while in traffic and get picked up by a playoff team less than a week later a la Michael Floyd. You can punch your pregnant girlfriend in the stomach and still have the league fawning over your elusiveness a la Tyreek Hill. You can be videotaped shattering a college girl's jaw and still have a first round draft grade a la Joe Mixon. You can be a domestic abuser with absolutely no remorse and still get a second chance a la Greg Hardy. What you can't do, apparently, is view the American Flag in a different light than the people whose experience in this country is much different than yours, and it's simply because they sign your checks. Cause and reasoning be damned, because taking a knee during a song is undeniably the equivalent of pissing on a deceased Marine's grave before setting the stars and stripes on fire - regardless of whether or not you clearly state that your decision has absolutely nothing to do with the troops.
You can dismiss the notion that he "can't play", because - while I am far from a Colin Kaepernick fan - I'd take him blindfolded over just about every other useless signal caller that has been wildly overpaid this offseason. You can take the "fear of backlash" with a grain of salt, because - historically speaking - that's hardly gotten in the way of trying to win before. That leaves one "legitimate" reason why Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned, and that reason is that NFL general managers "genuinely hate him". That's right. The people that run billion dollar businesses have blackballed a player at a premium position that could easily start for at least a handful of teams in the league for the same reason I won't eat a sandwich with mayo on it. All the sudden, personal distaste for a player takes precedence over his abilities on a football field. Imagine that. A bunch of rich old white dudes magically developed a conscience, and their first "cautionary tale" will be at the expense of a guy that thought bringing awareness to institutional racism was slightly more important than saluting a flag.
The irony is that those that disagreed with Colin Kaepernick said his actions were disingenuous because he was making millions of dollars. Now, those same people are celebrating his unemployment while he spends the millions of dollars that he's no longer making on charitable endeavors. Man, if only the guy whose efforts were responsible for chartering a jet of essentials to a struggling country were a bit more likable. Maybe then someone would take a chance on the quarterback that had 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while playing with weapons that were about as effective as safety scissors...