We’re a few weeks into free agency now, and Colin Kaepernick still does not have a new job. That doesn’t sit quite right with Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who played against Kap for years in the NFC West and apparently has great respect for the former 49ers passer as both a player and a person.
“Yeah, it does surprise me. Kap is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL,” Bennett said on NFL Network, after being asked if he was surprised Kaepernick was still unemployed. “He’s also one of the most genuine people you could possibly meet. All the stuff that he’s doing off the field, the things that he’s doing in the communities, he’s just serving everybody. Teams should be happy to have a leader like that, a guy who’s dedicated to the people around him and he’s dedicated to making their life better. The only thing he could do is make the offense even better.”
We can quibble with the first half of Bennett’s assertion (whatever his level of talent, Kaepernick has not performed well on the field over the last few seasons), but Bennett is certainly correct that Kap has been using his platform to help people off the field. He recently made a(which is about to see its funding cut under the most recent budget proposals) and , which is experiencing a famine. And that’s just over the last week or so. The 49ers also apparently , as he won their prestigious Len Eshmont award last season.
Bennett is not the only Seahawks player to stand up for Kaepernick this week, either. Richard Sherman told ESPN that he believes Kap’s unemployment is not football-related.
“There was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year and got signed the next year. So it has nothing to do with football,” Sherman said. “You can see that. They signed guys who have had off years before.”
Sherman continued, asserting that Kaepernick is a better player than most of the league’s starting quarterbacks.
“You don’t have 32 starting-level quarterbacks in this league,” Sherman said. “You have about eight elites, and then you have the rest of the league. You have about eight, nine elite quarterbacks. You have two or three who have the potential to be elite. And then you have the rest of the teams. So he could play and start on a ton of teams in this league. He would be a starter on probably 20 of the teams in this league. But you’re telling me that you’re going to let other guys, you’re going to pick up some of these other guys and tell me that they’re starters?”
He may not be one of the 12 best QBs in football, but it surely seems like he’s good enough to be somebody’s backup, or even compete for a starting job. He has taken a team to the Super Bowl, after all, and it’s not like he is unskilled. If Josh McCown and Geno Smith and Nick Foles and Matt Barkley and EJ Manuel still have a place in the league, then surely there is a play for Kap, too.