On Saturday, we learned that the Baltimore Ravens were interested in Colin Kaepernick but did not sign him in light of the injury to Joe Flacco. With him still on the market, here are a few reasons why the Tennessee Titans shouldn’t waste any time and pick him up.
Why the Tennessee Titans Should Sign Colin Kaepernick
1. Matt Cassel is Bad
Ever since his 2008 year in New England, Matt Cassel has been a commodity around the NFL. Tom Brady went down in week one and he led the Patriots to an 11-5 record, winning ten of his 15 starts. He threw 21 touchdown passes and just 11 picks that season. He had one other good season in 2010 when he threw 15 of his touchdowns to Dwayne Bowe (just saying) and otherwise he has been barely a competent backup. After replacing Marcus Mariota in week 16 against the Jaguars he was dreadful and that was after he stunk in Dallas in 2015.
Just because he has been around a long time and has experience does not make him good. He might be a great locker room presence and perhaps good to have in the quarterback meeting room but he cannot get it done on the field.
2. Marcus Mariota’s injuries
In his first two seasons Mariota has missed four games. It may not sound like much but missing time in both campaigns is concerning and one game could be the difference between the playoffs and watching them at home. Mariota is a guy who likes to use his legs which makes him more susceptible to big hits and potential injuries.
So while all backups are one play away from being forced onto the field, there are certain backups that are more likely to see the field than others.
3. Kaepernick plays a similar style to Mariota
We all know that Kaepernick can escape the pocket and make plays with his legs. That is a big part of Mariota’s game as well. In two years, Mariota has run for over 600 yards and averaged over six yards per carry. However he is not a run first quarterback like Robert Griffin III was.
Neither is Kaepernick, even though he ran for 468 yards last season. Last year, Kaepernick threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions despite having an awful supporting cast in San Francisco. He did have to run quite a bit because of the 49ers awful offensive line, but he would not have that problem in Tennessee.
Kaepernick doesn’t have quite the accuracy that Mariota does but he does have a stronger arm. They aren’t exactly the same, but they are about as close as two quarterbacks can get.
4. Kaepernick is not a team killer like Terrell Owens
The reason Kaepernick hasn’t gotten a job yet is because of his personal views and not his lack of ability. Owens was arguably the most talented receiver the game has ever seen but his constant ego issues made him go from place to place. He called Jeff Garcia gay, questioned the toughness of Donovan McNabb and just displayed overall selfishness.
Kaepernick is not selfish at all. He has donated lots of money in the last year; details here. He won’t go around and complain or put down his teammates; and last year in San Francisco he had every right to because they were awful. If Tennessee signs him, he won’t come in and cause division in the locker room.
5. Delainie Walker
When Kaepernick was in San Francisco, Walker was a teammate of his from 2011-2012. Most of that time Alex Smith was still starting in San Francisco, but Kaepernick started for most of the team’s Super Bowl run in 2012.
Walker has been among the top targets ever since arriving in Tennessee before the 2013 season. He set a career high in receiving yards in 2015 with 1,088 and made the first of his two Pro Bowls. So there would be instant chemistry there between Kaepernick and one of the top weapons in the Titans passing game.
Overall, it’s hard to imagine a better player to back up Mariota than Kaepernick. Whether he will be willing to accept a backup job is a different story as he wanted starter money earlier in the off-season but now he might have to take whatever he can get.
I also think it’s hard to imagine his signing being well-received by fans. When the Ravens were linked to him, fans were very upset. Baltimore is an East Coast city and much more liberal than Central Tennessee, so I think this signing would be hard to sell to the fans. But at a certain point, management has to do what is best for the football team and not care what some of the fans think.
But fans will eventually be on board if he wins games should Mariota miss time this season. Remember, this team brought in Randy Moss once. Surely Kaepernick is not as mercurial as Moss was, and if he keeps his head down and works hard then shines if his time comes, everything will be fine.