“I think if a team decides that Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that’s what they’ll do,” he added. “They want to win, and they make those decisions individually in the best interest of their club.” -Roger Goodell, 1/30/2019
It is January 2019 and Colin Kaepernick being unsigned continues to be a misrepresented. In his January 30th press conference, Roger Goodell was asked why Colin Kaepernick has remained unsigned for the past two seasons. His answer was not only false and misleading, but he dodged the proceeding questions inquiring about Kaepernick.
Colin Kaepernick is an NFL-caliber quarterback and the stats back it up every time. Maybe Goodell is trying to keep his story straight for his deposition in the collusion lawsuit.
Before we go repeating arguments, narratives and facts about Colin Kaepernick, please note the following UnafraidShow articles from 2017 and 2018:
“The Truth and Lies of Colin Kaepernick”
Quick Refresher: 5 common lies that surrounded the Kaepernick controversy were dispelled quickly. The lies were that:
*Lie #1: Kaepernick sucks and can’t play anymore
Kaepernick is still a younger quarterback that led his team to 2 NFC Championship Games, 1 Superbowl, and ranked 11th in career Quarterback Rating among active quarterbacks (as of July, 2017)
*Lie #2: Kaep is a bad guy
Kaepernick donated over $1 million of his own money to inner city programs and charities. He hasn’t gotten a DUI, committed domestic abuse, beat his kid, violated the league’s drug policy, been surrounded by rape or murder investigations, or plead guilty to insider trading. All he did was
*Lie #3: Our military is offended
We fight to protect freedoms from everyone. But if people are still worried about offending military, they should call their congressman, volunteer, or raise money to help the many servicemen and women that are homeless, unemployed, and struggling.
*Lie #4: Sports are not for protests
Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, and many more have protested. The NBA, MLB, and NFL have all gone on strike. This isn’t something new.
*Lie # 5: Kaepernick needs to clean up his image
Calls for Kaepernick to clean up his image are ridiculous. He donated his own money, sacrificed his time and energy to community service, and stood up for the rights of others. Then the arguments for changing his hair to look better come from those with racial-bias against black athletes. Cornrows date back to 3000 BCE. The afro dates back to the 1860’s in America. However, because they are not white hairstyles, they are not clean-cut. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets praised for his large beard, but Kaepernick, whom has almost always kept his facial hair neat and stylish, is looked at differently.
“Colin Kaepernick and Nike – Did Nike Just Do It or Just Blew It”
Quick Refresher: There were many protests and proposed boycotts of Nike when they announced that Colin Kaepernick would be the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. People claimed Nike would be hurt and the NFL would drop them. Has the NFL dropped them? Nope. Are they hurt? Well, they did just sign a new contract with the MLB. Nike is now the official uniform supplier for the NFL, NBA, and MLB, in addition to countless collegiate programs. It appears that they are thriving and anyone that wants to boycott them will have to go through a lot of trouble to do so.
So the NFL hasn’t dropped Nike, why haven’t they picked up Kaepernick yet? As Goodell stated earlier today, he thinks that teams would have signed Kaepernick if they thought he could help them win. With that being said, let’s go ahead and review the two seasons Kaepernick has been absent to see if he could have helped teams win more games.
In Kaepernick’s most recent season (2016), he had an average to below average season for an NFL starter. Per numberFire’s NEP (Net Expected Points) metric, his Passing NEP per drop back was only 0.04. That may sound low, but it actually still ranked 28th of the 39 qualified passers. This might not make him Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but it still makes him a starting quarterback. But we all know that Colin Kaepernick isn’t a one-dimensional quarterback because he can always win with his legs. He was 8th-best in quarterback Rushing NEP per attempt in 2016, which ranks his Total NEP per opportunity 22nd of 39 qualified quarterbacks. Again, that is a starting quarterback. But, this becomes even more compelling when you review the target leaders for the 2016 49ers: Jeremy Kerley, Quinton Patton, Garrett Celek, Torrey Smith. He played above replacement-level without receiving threats to help him.
Continuing with Ron Yurko’s EPA (Expected Points Added), Josh Hermsmeyer of FiveThirtyEight closely reviewed why “The Stats Say Washington Should Have Signed Colin Kaepernick”. In his post-week 14 article, after Mark Sanchez was benched for Josh Johnson, Hermsmeyer highlighted the mistake(s) of Washington. Looking at their careers, Kaepernick was superior to Sanchez in EPA. He also outperformed Josh Johnson, whom had a staggeringly low EPA as a quarterback. According to Hermsmeyer, “Plays with Johnson under center have resulted in negative value for his teams.” These stats and analytics are not hard to find, yet Kaepernick remained unsigned in 2018 as Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson recorded just 1 win in 4 starts.
Last, why don’t we strictly look at wins? If you don’t believe in any other stat and you are a football guy (or girl) that believes it all comes down to wins, wins, wins, this spot is for you. As was stated earlier, Kaepernick not being signed to any team is a refusal to believe that he is even worth a backup quarterback roster spot. As Nick Foles proved, having multiple competent quarterbacks is very, very valuable. In 2017, 56 different quarterbacks started a game in the regular season. In 2018, there were 54. I examined every backup quarterback that started 1-9 games in 2017 or 1-9 games in 2018. Their combined record was a dismal 48-85. If we remove 4 quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes, Nick Foles, Jimmy Garoppolo, Lamar Jackson) from that list, the record drops to 30-82. Yikes. Kaepernick’s record is 30-28. Granted, that’s not great, but it’s certainly better than 30-82. However, keep in mind that Kaepernick boasts a 4-2 post-season record and led his team to 2 consecutive NFC Championships and was 5 yards away from a Superbowl title.
Colin Kaepernick is not being overlooked based off of his talent or experience. He is plainly being blackballed. His stats show that he is, at worse, a low-tier starting quarterback or an elite backup quarterback. Kaepernick boasts the ability to throw over 3300 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also rushing for 600 yards and 5 touchdowns. His NEP or EPA career statistics show that he is valuable to an NFL team. If NFL teams truly believe that Nathan Peterman, Jeff Driskel, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Johnson, they are locked in denial that has and will cost them wins.