Seahawks: Colin Kaepernick Is Too Good to Back Up Russell Wilson

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still a free agent, even though the coach of the team he most recently met with, Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, thinks he is a starting-caliber NFL player.

Instead, on Tuesday the Seahawks signed Austin Davis to join Trevone Boykin, who had two arrests over the offseason, to back up starter Russell Wilson.

You’re forgiven for not remembering Davis—since going undrafted five years ago, he’s appeared in 13 games, throwing 13 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He’s been cut by four teams with horrible quarterback situations: the St. Louis Rams (twice), the Miami Dolphins, the Cleveland Browns, and the Denver Broncos last season.

In other words, he’s not nearly as good as Kaepernick, a mediocre starter but a starter nonetheless, who threw 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions in 12 games (11 starts) for the San Francisco 49ers a season ago, in addition to rushing for 468 yards and two more scores.

Carroll agrees.

“Colin has been a fantastic football player, and he’s going to continue to be,” the coach said last week. “At this time, we didn’t do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league, and we have a starter.”

Kaepernick made headlines during 2016 by kneeling throughout pregame renditions of the national anthem to protest police brutality.

The natural reaction to Carroll’s statement is to assume that Kaepernick expects to be paid like a starter, a demand Seattle wasn’t prepared to meet.

That notion was shot down by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman.

The Seahawks might also be concerned about bringing in a player of Kaepernick’s caliber because of growing resentment between cornerback and defensive leader Richard Sherman, who’s praised Kaepernick’s protest, and current starter Wilson.

If you find it odd that wife beaters, child beaters, dog fighters, and sexual abusers regularly get second chances in the NFL while a guy who thinks cops shouldn’t kill innocent black people is getting frozen out of the league, you’re not alone.

“Am I the only one confused by what Pete Carroll said? ‘The guy’s a starter … but we’re not going to sign him,’” former Pro Bowler and current NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe said on Undisputed.

“Normally coaches say when they sign a backup, ‘We signed him because we felt if something happened to our starter, this guy can come in and he could keep us afloat until the guy came back. So Pete Carroll is saying, ‘We didn’t sign Colin Kaepernick, but he’s a starter and somebody else is probably going to give him an opportunity.’

“All the Seattle Seahawks did is they brought Colin Kaepernick in. I don’t believe they had any intentions of signing him.”

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