Tennessee Titans have been among teams talked about to sign Colin Kaepernick.
The NFL’s stance on kneeling has changed a bit since Colin Kaepernick last played in 2016. It all began on August 26, 2016 when Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem before a preseason game vs the Green Bay Packers. At the time, the general public and other former players didn’t take so well to Kaepernick’s protest.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 29, 2016
Fast forward 4 years and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement regarding players kneeling.
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.
The question is, should the Tennessee Titans be looking to sign Colin Kaepernick as a backup QB?
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports seems to think it makes sense.
Team leadership, including ownership and QB Ryan Tannehill, have been talking up renewed action in the social justice movement, and more than that, Mike Vrabel might prefer having someone other than Logan Woodside as his backup plan under center. The Titans saw the value of a veteran No. 2 in 2019, and Kaepernick seems like the ideal play-action backup for their offense, which is going to run through Derrick Henry anyway. Cap space certainly wouldn’t be the holdup, either.
Should the Titans sign Colin Kaepernick?
Is signing Colin Kaepernick actually a smart move for the Titans? I think not, and it has nothing to do with kneeling. Instead, it has everything to do with the fact that Kaepernick hasn’t played in 4 years.
After such a long break from football, is Colin Kaepernick really the guy we want if Ryan Tannehill happens to get hurt? Yes, the two options on the team are a former XFL player and a rookie, but they have been playing real football recently. 4 years is a long time to come back and try to play at a high level. Especially at 32 years old.
In Colin Kaepernick’s last two seasons he finished with a combined record of 3-16 in games he started. Through his last 21 games, he threw only 22 touchdowns. Kaepernick had success throughout his career, and he found lots of success running the read option.
Colin Kaepernick is now 32 years old, and the Titans have been trending towards younger and cheaper players where they can. Based on his free agent history, I would say that Kaepernick would be asking for at least $8 million to play in the NFL. Just one year ago, he asked for $20 million dollars to play in the XFL.
Titans are younger and better at QB
Whatever Kaepernick would ask, there’s no way it could compete with the $610,000 that the Titans will pay Logan Woodside in 2020. Logan Woodside is on a much more team friendly deal, and it just so happens that the coaches really believe in Woodside.
“Logan was a player we felt very good about,” Vrabel said. “He’s put a lot of work in, he’s gotten stronger. He studied throughout the year and was prepared, even though he was on the practice squad at one point and then unfortunately injured reserve, but watching him study and game plan each and every week when he didn’t have to. I know that Pat O’Hara, our quarterbacks coach, and (offensive coordinator) Arthur Smith were impressed by that.”
The Tennessee Titans also drafted QB Cole McDonald in the 7th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. McDonald will also make $610,000 in 2020. It would be cheaper for both of the current QBs to stay on the roster than to sign Kaepernick.
If Colin Kaepernick is good enough, there’s no doubt that he should be on an NFL roster. But in the Titans’ current position, I don’t believe his second chance at the NFL should be in Nashville.