By Ken Reed
Get this: The Buffalo Bills signed a quarterback this past weekend that hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL for six years! That’s right, the Bills have signed Joe Webb to be a backup quarterback. He last threw a pass in an NFL regular season game in 2011.
With that signing, we can officially put to rest any lingering claims like this: “Colin Kaepernick isn’t getting blackballed by the NFL, he’s just not good enough as a player.”
Kaepernick, a Super Bowl quarterback still in his physical prime at age 29, remains unemployed, while guys like Webb and Brock Osweiler (a quarterback cut by the woeful Cleveland Browns and resigned by the Denver Broncos) continue to get opportunities.
Clearly, Kaepernick is getting ostracized due to his politics and not his playing ability. Just look at the stats:
First, Kaepernick’s career interception percentage (1.8 percent) is second in NFL history to Aaron Rodgers. Don’t NFL coaches like quarterbacks who take care of the ball?
Kaepernick’s career-adjusted net yards per pass, which includes bonus points for throwing touchdowns while penalizing a player for interceptions and sacks, is better than Mike Glennon, Blaine Gabbert, and Matt Barkley, all marginal quarterbacks signed during the offseason.
In a statistical analysis done in May, Kaepernick’s Total Quarterback Rating (Total QBR) was higher than 18 NFL backup quarterbacks.
In terms of just 2016 Total QBR, Kaepernick’s rating was higher than 2016 NFL starters Ryan Tannehill, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, Blake Bortles, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Case Keenum.
Kaepernick is out of the league for exercising his First Amendment rights and his public stance against police brutality during the national anthem. Never mind that he has a clean legal background. Or that he has given $800,000 to community charitable causes. (He has pledged $1 million in this effort.)
Meanwhile, NFL teams continue to sign players with ugly legal backgrounds. At least five teams picked players with histories of legal problems in the last NFL draft. That includes the Cincinnati Bengals drafting running back Joe Mixon, who punched a woman and broke bones in her face in 2014.
The NFL’s moral compass is clearly broken and needs to go into the repair shop.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.