The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are probably already set at quarterback for the next two years, but that shouldn’t stop them from signing Colin Kaepernick.
There are very few names throughout the history of the NFL that immediately create such a mass of diverse emotions, such as Colin Kaepernick. As one of the most polarizing figures in NFL history, the mere mention of his name can lead to hour-long debates that never move an inch.
Kaepernick was one of the most exciting players to watch during his brief career with a strong arm and legs that rivaled even the best scrambling quarterbacks, and despite a three-year hiatus, he still clearly has the talent to be a backup at the very least.
The Buccaneers may like their current backup quarterbacks, but both fall incredibly short of Kaepernick’s talents, even with his break from the league considered.
The easier player to rule out from this discussion is Ryan Griffin. Griffin has attempted a total of four passes throughout his time in the NFL and has likely reached the apex of his career. He was a fun underdog story to follow, but no argument exists on merit as a football player that stands in Griffin’s favor.
The true backup to Tom Brady is Gabbert, but there is still almost nothing in his favor for this argument. Gabbert has fewer passing yards, rushing yards, touchdowns thrown, more interceptions, and a lower completion percentage, and he has done all of this with more years in the league.
Gabbert has also struggled with injuries like Kaepernick, and Kaep’s time out of the league may also give him an advantage in this opportunity as well.
The one place that Gabbert has a true advantage is that he is familiar with Bruce Arians’ system, but familiarity means very little when related to talent to actually perform in said system.
Kaepernick has the stronger arm, he is more accurate, and to top it all off, he has a level of mobility that would flourish with the Buccaneer offense.
Even with a limited time to learn the playbook and build chemistry with his teammates, Kaepernick’s ability to improvise mixed with his preexisting talents in the categories that Arians should want would give him a quick advantage over Gabbert.
It should be clear that this move isn’t to replace Brady but to back him up. Either way, Brady is getting older, and with that, the threat of injury will exponentially increase.
If the Buccaneers are putting all of their eggs in one basket to win now, a player like Kaepernick would be a much better and safer option than a player like Gabbert if the team wants to stay in playoff/Super Bowl contention.