Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick held a workout on Saturday afternoon, and reportedly impressed during his time in front of the scouts. Based on the workout, Kaepernick still has his rocket arm and looks a lot like the guy who last played in 2016. While he probably won’t be a starter right out of the gate, he proved he has what it takes to be an NFL backup, at the very least. There is no such thing as too much quarterback depth, so let’s take a look at the possible team fits for Colin Kaepernick.
Possible Colin Kaepernick Free Agency Fits
There is a strong case to be made that Colin Kaepernick is a better quarterback than Mitchell Trubisky. The former second overall pick has been nothing short of a disappointment all season long, leading one of the worst offenses in the league. Head coach Matt Nagy’s conservative playcalling shows that he doesn’t trust Trubisky to run the offense, which is terrible news for a win-now team like the Bears. If Chicago had even a league-average quarterback, they’d probably be in the thick of the Super Bowl hunt.
Asking for league-average play from Kaepernick after a three-year hiatus is asking a lot, but he’d probably be an upgrade on Trubisky. If he can even play like a top 20-25 quarterback, he’ll improve the offense. Nagy has the ability to use Kaepernick’s athleticism to his advantage, and Kaepernick can actually throw to the left side of the field. At the very least, the Bears should bring in a backup who can provide a bigger spark than Chase Daniel.
Much like the Chicago Bears, the Pittsburgh Steelers boast a powerful defense and a talented roster held back by the quarterback position. Mason Rudolph finally had his chance to shine with Ben Roethlisberger done for the season, but he hasn’t done much to inspire confidence moving forward. Entering Week 11, Rudolph ranks 20th in Football Outsiders DYAR and DVOA and 28th in ESPN’s QBR. Despite Rudolph’s struggles, the Steelers currently sit at 5-5 and are the thick of the Wild Card hunt. Kaepernick could start off as Rudolph’s primary backup with the potential to take over as a starter should Rudolph’s play continue to dip.
Colin Kaepernick has a chance to be an upgrade over Trubisky and Rudolph, but he’s nowhere near as good as Russell Wilson. The former third-round pick is having a career year and currently ranks 3rd in DYAR, 2nd in DVOA, and 2nd in QBR. However, the backup position is far less certain. Should Wilson suffer an injury, the Seahawks would need to turn to Geno Smith to save the day.
There is more than enough evidence that Geno Smith simply isn’t the answer at quarterback. The former second-round pick has a career passer rating of 72.7 and has more interceptions than touchdowns. Russell Wilson carries more value than any other player in the league, and the Seahawks will probably lose every game in which Smith plays.
If Wilson suffers a season-ending injury, it’s all over for Seattle, regardless of backup. However, if Wilson suffers a minor injury and has to miss two or three games, Kaepernick has the ability to keep the ship afloat until Wilson returns. The Seahawks are currently half a game behind the San Francisco 49ers for first place in the division, so every game counts. The Seahawks expressed interest in Kaepernick before, and now they have the excuse to bring him in as a backup.
Other Fits: Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions
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