Colin Kaepernick has not played NFL football, or any competitive football, since 2016. In 2015, Kaepernick was ranked by Bleacher Report, a highly reputable and long-established sports publication, as being the 47th ranked quarterback out of 50 in 2015.
In 2015, Kaepernick would finish with a 2-6 record as a starter, and in 2016 Kaepernick would finish with a 1-10 record as a starter. Kaepernick changed his diet before the 2016 season, and it showed. Kaepernick came into camp much skinnier than before, losing muscle mass and strength as a result of his vegan diet and accumulating injuries.
In recent years, when NFL starting quarterbacks are injured or not doing well, those who care more for social justice as opposed to on-the-field play will point to Colin Kaepernick, and say he should be the starter. The same man who lost his starting position to Blaine Gabbert, a journeyman backup in the NFL, is no longer poised to be an NFL starting quarterback. After the Dak Prescott injury in week 1 of the 2022 NFL season against the Buccaneers, Michael Irvin was tired of hearing fans looking to Kaepernick to fill the role of an actual NFL starting quarterback.
While the Cowboys will likely go with Cooper Rush as the starting quarterback and Will Grier as his backup, ESPN star Stephen A. Smith floated the possibility of the team taking a flier on Colin Kaepernick. Smith said he didn’t think it would ever happen but broached the topic anyway.
“You know what, this is a different subject for another day maybe. It will never happen, in my opinion … might want to make that call to Colin Kaepernick,” Smith said on “First Take” Monday. “Might want to find out. He ain’t been around but he’s a playmaker with his legs who’s available, you gotta take that into consideration.”
Smith said he didn’t think it would go over well with Cowboys fans in Texas, alluding to Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and the U.S., and claimed the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s message was “hijacked.”
“But I would think about it, I would say that. But getting back to reality, because I don’t think that’s reality,” he added.
Michael Irvin, the former Cowboys superstar wide receiver completely brushed off the narrative of Kaepernick playing in the NFL.
“Let’s stop with this Colin Kaepernick stuff. Let’s just stop. Colin Kaepernick’s been out of football for what five years now,” Irvin said. “Come on, man. Let’s stop all of a sudden thinking we can go resurrect Colin Kaepernick and he’s going to come and resurrect a football team. I’ll take my chances with Cooper Rush. I will take my chances with Cooper Rush.
Smith said he brought the topic up because “five different people” put it into his ear.
Kaepernick hasn’t played since the 2016 season but has maintained he’s staying ready just in case a team calls.
Colin Kaepernick, at this point, is not a starting quarterback, and other NFL and former NFL players have made this same point. With All-Pro former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver saying,
“All that is cap… We ain’t respecting that, bro. You took the money, the commercials. We don’t see you outside. We don’t see him in the hood. He don’t do nothing. Like, we cool. But, nah, we ain’t even stan Kaepernick… He not even from the hood. He haven’t even been in the trenches. We like Kaepernick and all, but we ain’t really on that.”
Brown added, in response to Kaepernick’s social activism,
“He built a foundation,” Brown said. “What it do, though? I’m being real. What superhero he enforce? Who he put on? Who he help?”
In the eyes of Antonio Brown and countless others, Colin Kaepernick is a professional personality for activism at this point in his career, and not actually attempting to be a starting quarterback.
Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin would rather turn to Cooper Rush, or any other backup who’s actually dedicated to playing as opposed to Kaepernick.