The only team that has shown legitimate, on-the-record interest in free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick this offseason is the Seattle Seahawks.
And the Seahawks aren’t signing Kaepernick. At least for now.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday that a Kaepernick signing isn’t imminent, although the team visited with him. They’re the first known free-agent visit for Kaepernick this offseason.
“Colin has been a fantastic has been a fantastic football player and he’s going to continue to be. At this time we didn’t do anything with it,” Carroll said. “But we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so.”
It sounded like a fact-finding mission. Carroll dove into coach-speak about the team always looking into opportunities to improve the football team, but apparently that doesn’t involve Kaepernick.
Carroll made sure to praise Kaepernick as a player.
“He’s a starter in this league. We have a starter [Russell Wilson],” Carroll said. “But he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine someone won’t give him a chance to play.”
That doesn’t add up. Why wouldn’t the Seahawks want a starting-caliber backup? They have one of the worst backup situations in the league, and Wilson went through a season in which he played through multiple injuries behind a porous offensive line. The Seahawks didn’t do much to improve the line, either.
Carroll was asked why, if Kaepernick is a “starter in this league,” why is he not signed?
“I don’t know that,” Carroll said.
Maybe the Seahawks revisit the situation later (“Right now we know what we’re doing,” Carroll said about any future plans with Kaepernick) but something would probably need to change, probably with an injury to one of Seattle’s quarterbacks. If the Seahawks wanted to sign Kaepernick, they’d do so on June 2. Outside of a freak injury to Wilson or backup Trevone Boykin (or more legal trouble for Boykin), nothing that will happen in late June or July will create a sudden desire to add Kaepernick.
There are financial concerns for the Seahawks, who pay Wilson a lot and don’t have a ton of cap space. Even though some don’t want to admit it, there are questions about Kaepernick’s football acumen, and that’s a reason he’s not signed. Others don’t want to admit that Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest is pretty clearly playing a role in him being unsigned. When New York Giants co-owner John Mara talked about angry letters he got from fans about Kaepernick, it was telling.
The Seahawks seemed to be a good fit for Kaepernick. They run an offense that fits his skills. They have embraced a culture in which their players are allowed to speak freely about whatever issue is on their mind. They certainly know the best Kaepernick has to offer; Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers came very close to winning the NFC championship game at Seattle four seasons ago.
So the Seahawks have passed on signing Kaepernick. With Seattle out of the mix, it’s hard to figure out another potential landing spot.
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