Colin Kaepernick has enough talented to be on an NFL team right now. That much is indisputable. The question, for the last three years, remains if any team will give him a shot.
Several weeks have passed since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on racial injustice and police brutality. There hasn’t been any news regarding league-wide interest in Kaepernick, but the discussion of teams acquiring his services has popped back up. Goodell mentioned the subject Monday night on ESPN’s “The Return of Sports” special:
“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision,” Goodell said. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.
So, are the Bengals a sensical club to sign the former second-round pick? Mike Sando of The Athletic listed them as one of the 10 teams that should pursue Kaepernick.
Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Finley is backing up Joe Burrow. Adding Kaepernick would not threaten [Joe] Burrow’s status as the future. The Bengals scored a combined 33 points in Finley’s three starts. Finley completed 47 percent of his passes.
Sando’s criteria to be one of the 10 teams largely has to do with having an uncertain backup situation. The consensus on Kaepernick is that he wouldn’t be signed by any team to start, but there are numerous backup quarterbacks with worse resumes than Kaepernick’s.
Ryan Finley falls into that group, and thus, the Bengals were listed as such.
Finley has the benefit of being a second-year player, but he’s not likely to become much more than what he already is. He may not have much experience in the league, but he’s already 25 years old. For reference, 2017 first-round pick Deshaun Watson turns 25 this September.
Replacing Finley with Kaepernick would give the Bengals a better backup at the most important position on the team, but the likelihood of it happening is not even remotely high. Finley remains a player head coach Zac Taylor and the personnel department would like to see develop going into his second year, and their intentions on not giving up on him seem as true as can be.
Kaepernick will turn 33 in November and hasn’t played a down of NFL football since 2016. The former San Francisco 49ers star manufactured his own workout last November after the league scheduled one for him on the condition that he sign a compromising liability waiver proposal. When Kaepernick saw the NFL’s true intentions, he and his team took matters into their own hands, but NFL representatives were still able to see Kaepernick throw for themselves.
Video made public from the workout showed Kaepernick’s arm talent was still top notch, but he remained unsigned for the remainder of the season. It’s the latest evidence of his ability that we’ve seen.
Perhaps this continuous public pressure will see Kaepernick finally rejoin the league, but like Goodell says, it will be up to the individual franchises to allow that to happen. Don’t expect the Bengals to be the organization to do it.