Buccaneers and controversial quarterback option have mutual need

Colin Kaepernick, free agent option for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick, free agent option for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers don’t have much to go on in their current quarterback room with a career backup and a QB that has never played in the regular season. Could Tampa give Colin Kaepernick a chance?

The Buccaneers are looking for a new starting quarterback to take over for Tom Brady. Colin Kaepernick is looking for his first team in five years. While this is certainly a long shot, the mutual need between the two parties does make this interesting.

For those of you that are still reading, let’s look at this logically for a moment. It doesn’t matter what stats, numbers, or narratives you cite; some people won’t ever listen to the argument, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t misinformation out there.

The Buccaneers don’t have a guaranteed option at quarterback now, Kaepernick is one of the most recognizable names in the league, and the conversation has started up again as to whether or not this will be the year that the NFL finally lets Kaep back into the league.

The move is unlikely, but there are a few narratives to address.

The first faulty part of this discussion stems from Kaepernick’s final year with the 49ers. Not only was that team terrible, but Kaepernick’s performance has been overblown to one of the worst in NFL history.

That year wasn’t great for Kaep, but Carlos Hyde was his leading rusher and Jeremy Kerley was the leading receiver with 667 yards.

Kaepernick’s 18 touchdowns and four interceptions hardly reveal a player that is the worst in the NFL, especially when considering Kaep still threw for four more touchdowns than Blaine Gabbert’s single-season high.

The sason completion percentage of 59.2% wasn’t impressive either, but it was still better than Gabbert’s 56.9% with a lower touchdown rate and a higher interception rate after he “took Kaep’s job.”

That 49ers team was terrible, and trying to put all of the blame on Kaepernick for incompetence from top to bottom is disingenuous. Even after being out of the league for five years, it’s hard to say that career backup Blaine Gabbert is miles better than his former teammate.

Kapernick is far more athletic than any Bucs quarterback, Bruce Arians is the type of coach to give anyone a chance as long as they are good at the sport, and the positive reception from the vast majority of the league simply for giving him a chance could be worth keeping this as an idea.

With quarterbacks like Drew Lock and Mason Rudolph looking like they might actually start this fall, there should be no reason why quarterback with Kaepernick’s talent, even one that has been out of the league for five years, should not get a chance to compete for a job.

However, that does bring us to why the Bucs probably don’t bring Colin Kapernick in. Five years out of the NFL is a very long time. Sure, Kaepernick has been training every day during the meantime, but that is not generally not a sign that he will be ready to go as an actual starter after such an absence. Still, we have never seen the league handle a player like they did with Kaep, so this is uncharted territory.

Despite the rough quarterback situation for the Buccaneers, Kaepernick’s recent workout videos probably aren’t enough to get the team to make any large changes in the meantime. There is certainly some intrigue in this topic as more people warm to the idea of him coming back to the league, but it probably won’t happen in Tampa.

Still, there is an obvious need between the two. We’ve seen far crazier in the past.

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