The Cleveland Browns have struggled the most when it has come to finding their franchise quarterback. The team has had 26 starting quarterbacks since their return to the National Football League in 1999. With no clear winner on their current depth chart, it would make sense for the Browns to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He’s an experienced veteran who just needs to be revitalized with the right coaching and Hue Jackson could just be what he needs.
The Cleveland Browns Should Sign Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick and the 49ers
Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of the Nevada. For his first season, he backed up now Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Alex Smith. Midway through his second season, Kaepernick earned his first start with the 49ers and later remained in that position. That same season they advanced to the Super Bowl where they played against the Baltimore Ravens but lost 34-31.
Kaepernick was considered a top tier NFL quarterback, with the advantage of being young, until his downfall during the 2015 season when head coach Jim Harbaugh departed the team for Michigan. Kaepernick was later placed on injured reserve after a shoulder injury that required surgery that same year.
In 2016, for the first five games, Kaepernick rode the bench, backing up Blaine Gabbert until he was named the starting quarterback in week six. Throughout the entire 2016 season, it was rumored that 2016 would be Kaepernick’s last season in San Francisco. The season wasn’t much of improvement and a week before free agency was to open, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and became a free agent, despite the hiring of new head coach Kyle Shanahan, who has an impressive record of coaching quarterbacks and coordinating the offense.
Kaepernick’s 2016 protests prior to each game, where he kneeled during The Star Spangled Banner in protest of the treatment of African-Americans around the United States, is quite possibly the reason he is still without a contract. Facing severe backlash for this action, the probability of Kaepernick going without a contract for the upcoming season is increasing. But if a team can re-focus Kaepernick’s priorities, he could have a major improvement in 2017.
Kaepernick’s career stats:
60.0 percent passes completed | 12,271 yards passing | 85 total touchdowns | 30 interceptions | 88.9 QB rating
Kaepernick and the Browns
Kaepernick signing with the Browns could help the team make a huge leap forward. Head coach Hue Jackson, who is headed into his second season with the team, has experience as an NFL quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Jackson has the potential to help coach Kaepernick back to his former self.
While the Browns recently acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler in a trade from the Houston Texans, Osweiler is clearly not the answer from the start, and it is still a possibility to see them sign Kaepernick. While many are expecting the Browns to draft a fresh, young, quarterback with the number one pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it would make more sense for the Browns to sign Kaepernick so their younger quarterbacks like Cody Kessler could have a veteran to learn and develop behind.