Now that his collusion case against the NFL is settled, could Colin Kaepernick land the backup job for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
On Friday, it was announced that the NFL and Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick settled their collusion case for an undisclosed amount. The NFLPA released a statement in favor of Kaepernick getting another opportunity in the league shortly after. This has to beg the question: is Kaepernick an option for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Last season, the Bucs rolled between quarterbacks, frequently flipping between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston due to Winston’s suspension to start the season. With Fitzpatrick’s return to the team highly unlikely, and the team sticking with Jameis Winston, it would be wise for Tampa Bay to reach an agreement with a quarterback who has had starting experience in the NFL.
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With that being said, the options will be slim as other quarterbacks who fit this mold that are set to hit the market are Blake Bortles, Tyrod Taylor, and potentially Case Keenum, Ryan Tannehill, and Andy Dalton. Most of the names mentioned will want to sign somewhere with an opportunity to start, an opportunity that Tampa Bay cannot offer. This would leave room for a quarterback trying to get back into the NFL, and give the Buccaneers a quality fill-in in the case that Winston cannot stay on the field or continues to struggle with turnovers.
Whatever the opinion held on Kaepernick is, it is no question that he would serve as one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL and cannot help but think that our friends down the road in Jacksonville would have loved an alternative to Cody Kessler. Tampa Bay is in need of not only a backup quarterback, but a security measure around Winston, and Kaepernick has lead a team to the Super Bowl and can give the team something that Winston cannot: a care for the football.
In his five seasons as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick registered a touchdown to interception ratio higher than 2:1. While he has fumbled the ball as a runner, he has never recorded a total in the double-digits in a season, a feat Winston has achieved twice.
While Winston is the surefire starter in the last year of his rookie deal, his leash is going to be short; bringing in Kaepernick would provide an NFL battle tested backup to give the Bucs some safety and would generate a buzz of interest in a small market team that has struggled to sell tickets. While he may never get another opportunity, Kaepernick should be on the radar for the Buccaneers.