It’s mid-May, and Colin Kaepernick, who once started a Super Bowl at quarterback, is still a free agent.
Is he being blackballed by the league?
“I think so,” NFL on CBS analyst Bart Scott said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think he’s not good for business right now. You think about the NFL. It’s all bout around patriotism, and he attacked patriotism. For a second, I think the ratings took a hit. And right now, his talent doesn’t say that he’s worth the risk. No different than Mixon versus Ray Rice or Greg Hardy versus Ray Rice. When you’re not good for business and you can’t make us money – and right now, I think he would be in the 20s as far as top starting quarterbacks. He’s pretty much a backup. But you’d rather take Blaine Gabbert because it doesn’t come with extra baggage. Even though he said he’s going to stand this year, I think the damage has already been done.”
It seems impossible – or close to it – for all 32 teams to collude against a single player, but Scott said it isn’t.
“People act like owners don’t collude,” he said. “I think they colluded against Ray Rice, and I think they’re colluding against Colin Kaepernick. They’re saying it without saying it. You have owners that the other owners look up and model themselves after. You can talk about (the) Rooney (family), you can talk about the Tischs, you can talk about the Krafts of the world, and you can talk about the Jerry Jones’ of the world and the rest of them kind of fall in line. If they don’t see them taking a chance, then they won’t take a chance as well.”
Still, there’s a way to go before the 2017 NFL season. Will Kaepernick be on a roster by Week 1?
“It’s debatable,” Scott said. “think if somebody gets hurt, somebody might kick the tires on him. But I think he’s still better than a lot of guys in there. He definitely can be a great back-up. He came in, I think he had some great games. Just think: The reason he wasn’t playing wasn’t (because) Blaine Gabbert was better than him. It’s that he had that clause in his contract – no different from RG3 the year before where they set him down because they didn’t want him to get hurt because they didn’t want to give him guaranteed money. He had a couple of games where he looked very good.
Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions in 12 games last season.
“You got to also consider what offense he was is and who he was throwing the ball to,” Scott said. “People want to talk, ‘Well, he had a great decline since Harbaugh left.’ Yeah, so did the entire team. So did their win-loss column. So did the quality of coaches that they brought in. But it’s amazing. I hope that Colin gets another opportunity.”
Kaepernick, Scott reminded listeners, has also donated money and time this offseason, showing that his social activism wasn’t simply for headlines.
“This wasn’t a ploy,” Scott said. “This wasn’t some gimmick. You can’t sell that to your agent: ‘Listen, I’m going to sit down (for the anthem), and we’re going to be good.’ Come on, man. That wasn’t good for business. He was compelled to do something.”