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One of the biggest questions heading into this NFL offseason was what would become of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, after a season where he was relegated to the bench by now-fired coach Jim Tomsula. But with many teams already figuring out their quarterback situations, Kaepernick’s future still has not been determined, with opportunities for him to find a new team beginning to diminish. Let’s evaluate his chances to play with the teams he has been linked to that have yet to make moves at the quarterback position.
New York Jets
The New York Jets find themselves in an awkward quarterback situation right now. They want to pay Ryan Fitzpatrick to come back and be their starter, but Fitzpatrick wants more money than the team appears to be willing to give him. They’ve also spent recent draft picks on Geno Smith and Bryce Petty, so making a move to acquire Colin Kaepernick would render those selections wasteful given that they could have taken other players in those spots.
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall has also come out publicly in support of the team bringing back Fitzpatrick rather than making a move to bring in someone new. That makes sense given the chemistry that existed between Fitzpatrick and Marshall last season, as the Jets offense was much better last season than it was in years prior. This all adds up to make the Jets a very unlikely destination for Colin Kaepernick.
Denver lost two quarterbacks at the end of last season, one in which they became NFL champions by winning Super Bowl 50. Peyton Manning retired, and Brock Osweiler left the team to start for the Houston Texans, leaving Denver in need of a new quarterback that they have yet to select. Colin Kaepernick could fit well in their system, which relies on running the football, a plan that could be made more dangerous with his ability to run from the quarterback position.
There would be very little risk for the Denver Broncos to make this move and give Colin Kaepernick a chance to play for them, as the team had an ineffective Peyton Manning and an inconsistent Brock Osweiler lead them to a championship thanks to one of the best defenses in NFL history last season. There’s no way that Kaepernick could possibly be worse than either of those players this coming season.
San Francisco 49ers
Perhaps the most overlooked option is the most practical for Colin Kaepernick. The San Francisco 49ers had one of the worst teams in the NFL last year, thanks in large part to an offense that simply wasn’t effective with Blaine Gabbert playing quarterback. The team replaced Jim Tomsula with new head coach Chip Kelly, who prefers to run an uptempo offense that would be perfect for a player like Kaepernick.
Kelly’s offenses feature a lot of read option plays and quick passing, something that was effective with Michael Vick leading the offense despite Vick being past his prime. At the very least, it would be worth a shot for the San Francisco 49ers to give Colin Kaepernick another chance in a better system for his skill set.
By: Jason M. Sanin