Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy thinks Colin Kaepernick’s lack of employment has less to do with his protest and more to do with his play.
This could pour some cold water on the fire after various mechanisms have begun to support Kaepernick. In addition to a protest at NFL Headquarters in Manhattan this week, there have been numerous players who have kneeled during the anthem, echoing Kaepernick’s protest.
However, the issue may not be so black and white.
“That may have something to do with but I think it also has a lot to do with his play,” McCoy said. “I’m sure a lot of teams wouldn’t want him as their starting quarterback. Then it’s the chaos that comes with it. It’s a lot. A team’s trying to win and not have a distraction on a team. As a player, there’s certain players that can be on a team with big distractions, and other players, they’re not good enough that it’s worth it. I think his situation is, not good enough to have on a team with all the attention that comes along with it. I’m sure if a guy like [Tom] Brady or a guy like — whoever is your favorite player, Odell Beckham or a guy like that — you’ll deal with that attention and play him. With certain guys, it’s not worth it.”
McCoy is certainly right that, if Kaepernick was better, teams would suddenly find the distraction worth it. His overall level of play last season was that of a starting NFL quarterback, but not that of a winning quarterback.
That distinction has been enough for teams to pass on signing Kaepernick so far and it’s an important one to make. Every NFL team made the decision that Tim Tebow wasn’t worth the media circus that came with him. While Kaepernick is undoubtedly a much better player than Tebow, the difference doesn’t mean much if teams don’t believe they can win with him either.
However, with the spotlight now on the Jaguars, that could change. Jacksonville has enough talent offensively to win with Kaepernick. Clearly, they want to win this season, having spent big money in free agency the last two years. And clearly, Blake Bortles is not the person to win with.
If Chad Henne flops in his audition for the starters’ job, perhaps Jacksonville takes the plunge and signs Kaepernick. However, if the Jags deem Henne good enough, it’s hard to see the embattled quarterback finding a job at this point.