Mike Sando: Cardinals ‘should pursue’ Colin Kaepernick as backup option

Jun 21, 2020, 9:25 AM

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media...

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

(AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is unsigned four years after he began kneeling to protest police brutality.

After the NFL issued a statement about racial injustice and commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players” and encouraged “all to speak out and peacefully protest,” will a team sign the player who started the movement?

The Athletic’s Mike Sando thinks there are 10 teams that should pursue his services to be a backup, one of which is the Arizona Cardinals.

With the Cardinals system tailored to suit Kyler Murray’s ability to move around with his feet, Kaepernick’s running ability would fit.

The backup, Brett Hundley, is also more than a typical pocket passer, but he doesn’t have proven success over his four years in the league.

Sando wrote:

Green Bay averaged 15.8 offensive points per game and was shut out twice in the nine games Hundley started in 2017.

Murray’s future appears bright, but he remains a one-year starter with much to prove.

Hundley performed well when thrust into action last year against the Seattle Seahawks. After Kyler Murray injured his hamstring, Hundley led a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to ice the win.

His history during his time with the Green Bay Packers and Seahawks, though, doesn’t scream reliable for a team with aspirations to be in the playoff hunt.

“We don’t know what conditions Kaepernick might place on joining a team, including how much money he would want or what kind of situation he would accept. But as views on Kaepernick’s protests are shifting and support grows for his stand against police brutality toward people of color, it’s an appropriate time to evaluate all 32 potential landing spots for him.”

Here are the other nine teams Sando listed in the “should pursue” Kaepernick section, and their current backup quarterback:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars, Mike Glennon
  • Buffalo Bills, Matt Barkley
  • Denver Broncos, Jeff Driskel
  • Carolina Panthers, Will Grier
  • Cincinnati Bengals, Ryan Finley
  • New England Patriots, Brian Hoyer
  • Washington Redskins, Kyle Allen
  • New York Giants, Colt McCoy
  • Tennessee Titans, Logan Woodside

In 2016, before Kaepernick kneeled, Sando polled 42 coaches and evaluators for his quarterback tiers survey. Kaepernick ranked as a high-end backup.

Kaepernick worked out for the Seahawks in 2017. Earlier this month, head coach Pete Carroll told NBC Sports Northwest that the visit didn’t only go well — the quarterback looked like a starter.

Carroll told the outlet:

“He just backed up even more of the play that we’d seen and the character and his smarts and his togetherness and his competitiveness to the point where it was so obvious that he’s a starter in the NFL. … He was a dominant figure in the NFL and that’s how we saw him …  As a backup, I didn’t feel like it was right at that time … I had to make that football decision.”

Kaepernick held an open workout last season, to which seven teams attended, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. The Cardinals were not among those seven.

After the workout, La Canfora tweeted that Kaepernick got some “some very positive feedback” from scouts. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that an NFL executive called the quarterback’s arm “elite.”

Now 32 years old, does Kaepernick still have the talent to be a productive backup? As public support shifts in his favor, teams may be inclined to work him out and see.


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