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By Jason Caci

Since the beginning of the NFL Free Agency signing period in March and leading up to the first few weeks of the regular season, Colin Kaepernick has still not signed with a team. Many social activists voiced their support for Kaepernick, saying that he deserves to be in the league and that his political views are the reason as to why he is still on the market. Colin Kaepernick does not “deserve” to be with a team. The NFL is a private business, and the upper management for each NFL team can choose to sign any player that can contribute to the team. I do not think all of the owners gathered together and agreed to not sign Kaepernick. It is just a matter of fact that he is not worth the distraction to any team.

In the second month of the 2016 NFL regular season, Kaepernick made an asinine decision on his part when he decided to restructure his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.  He agreed to have a player option on his contract, which stated that he could choose to opt in or opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Eventually, he chose to opt out. He did all of this after he made headlines by protesting the National Anthem in the preseason and regular season. His original contract was 7 years, worth $126 million. He never even came close to that. According to Business Insider, the contract had some incentives. For example, they reported that “Kaepernick’s salary went down $2 million each year if he was not named first- or second-team All-Pro, or if the 49ers didn’t play in the Super Bowl the previous season with 80% of the snaps taken by Kaepernick.” Of course, none of those conditions were met. In the end, he only received $39.4 million from the contract after opting out early, which shows how much his play has declined in the last few years.  After all of the talented defensive players on the 49ers retired after the 2014 season, Kaepernick showed that he was unable to lead his team to wins, as he went a combined 3-16 as a starter in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, as noted by Pro Football Reference.

Even after all of that declining play, Colin Kaepernick reportedly wanted $9 to $10 million on the open market in the offseason, according to Will Brinson of CBS Sports. Kaepernick’s demands were ridiculously high considering the fact that his play has declined to a point where he has become a mediocre to an arguably bad quarterback. NFL teams have 53 players on a roster, so they can only pay so many players a lot of money. If you are a team with no options for quarterback, of course you are going to sign a no-name quarterback and pay him $800,000 instead of paying Colin Kaepernick $10 million. The team is not going to be good anyways, so why not spend less money?

Colin Kaepernick’s success was because of the team, not him. The 49ers went to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season as a result of a great defense and an excellent offensive line. The season before that, the 49ers made it to the NFC Championship game with Alex Smith. When a team has two quarterbacks and has a lot of success for two straight years, the success should be attributed to the rest of the players and not just to the quarterback. As we saw in Colin Kaepernick’s last season, he went 1-10 as a starter. He played worse than what the statistics show. The 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions were mostly in garbage time, as the 49ers were blown out in many games. He also had an offensive-minded coach in Chip Kelly, who helped Nick Foles throw 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the 2013 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Nick Foles! Heck, you probably forgot about him until I mentioned him just now.

If Colin Kaepernick does not want football, then football does not want him. On his Twitter account, he only tweets or retweets about social activism. These range from DACA to police brutality to racial injustice. Clearly, he seems to be doing something that he likes, and that’s good for him. However, this is clearly a red flag to NFL teams that he is more committed to social activism than playing football. Kaepernick chose to take this route, so he should not feel slighted that NFL teams do not want him because they have the perception that he is not into football anymore.

In the end, there are many variables to consider, especially when signing arguably the most important position in sports, the quarterback. One can’t simply look at talent alone. He must also look at work ethic and how much drama he will bring to the team. Right now Kaepernick gets a failing grade in both of those categories and thus is not good enough to be on a roster right now.




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