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New York Jets should consider signing Colin Kaepernick

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 24: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 24: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles during the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Although it would be extremely controversial, the New York Jets should consider bringing in Colin Kaepernick to address their depth problems at quarterback.

Between Sam Darnold contracting mononucleosis and Trevor Siemian suffering a brutal leg injury, to say the New York Jets have a crisis at quarterback would be an understatement.

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, only five teams in the Super Bowl era (barring the 1987 strike season) have had to use three different quarterbacks in their first three games.

The Jets often have quarterback problems due to poor drafting, but this year they have been simply overwhelmed by awful luck.

So where does the team go from here? Darnold is at least a few weeks away from returning (if not longer), and Siemian is out for the season. And their current starter, Luke Falk, is as green as the Jets jersey he now finds himself wearing.

On Wednesday morning the team announced that they’ve signed David Fales who has some prior experience with Adam Gase with the Miami Dolphins.

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I realize many Jets fans do not want to hear this, but the time has come for the team to consider signing Colin Kaepernick.

Before completely dismissing the idea, hear me out. Whether or not you agree with or like Kaepernick’s political actions or protests, signing him does make sense from a strictly football perspective. Consider the following.

Kaepernick is significantly better than any other free agent quarterbacks out there.

The free-agent cupboard for quarterbacks is all but bare. Below are a few of the more prominent players the Jets could realistically acquire. For a moment, just consider their stats.

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Player A

  • Age: 31
  • Total Career Touchdowns/Interceptions: 105/61
  • Playoff Stats: None

Player B

  • Age: 31
  • Total Career Touchdowns/Interceptions: 85/30
  • Playoff Stats: 4-2 (11 TD/5 INT)

Player C

  • Age: 28
  • Total Career Touchdowns/Interceptions: 41/31
  • Playoff Stats: 1-1 (3 TD/3 INT)

Player D

  • Age: 24
  • Total Career Touchdowns/Interceptions: None
  • Playoff Stats: None

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Players A (Sam Bradford) and B (Kaepernick) represent the best of limited options if the Jets want a veteran. Players C (Brock Osweiler) and D (Davis Webb) have minimal success in the NFL, but they have some experience working in Jets head coach Adam Gase‘s system.

Having experience in a system is important, but being an effective quarterback is paramount. It should come down to Kaepernick or Bradford, and Kaepernick is a better fit for the Jets.

Kaepernick’s mobility would help compensate for the Jets’ awful offensive line play.

The Jets’ offensive line was a turnstile against the Browns, giving up four sacks and allowing Siemian to suffer a season-ending injury.

It is clear that a traditional pocket passer like Siemian or Bradford cannot succeed with this current Jets’ offense. However, a more dynamic quarterback like Kaepernick (or Darnold when he returns) may have more of a fighting chance.

Kaepernick would also provide valuable veteran insurance for Darnold.

Despite some positive reports surfacing, no one really knows how long it will be before Darnold is healthy and effective enough to return to football.

Even when Darnold does return, the Jets would be prudent to have a veteran backup option at quarterback. Colin Kaepernick could fill that role.

Source close to @Kaepernick7 in light of all the QB injuries: “Colin is literally in the best shape of his life. He’s been working out 5 days a week at 5 am for 3 years. He wants to play and his agent has been contacting teams in need of a QB.”

— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) September 17, 2019

Despite the long hiatus from the NFL, Kaepernick is in game shape and could contribute right away.

Although he has not played in the NFL since 2016, reports indicate that Kaepernick has been working out and is still in football shape.

The Jets would lose nothing by bringing Kaepernick in for a workout to confirm if those reports are accurate.

If Kaepernick is physically fit, there would still inevitably be some rust and a steep learning curve adapting to a new offense. However, there is precedent (see Le’Veon Bell) for NFL players missing long periods of time and then returning to be effective.

The Jets should take a chance on Kaepernick now, with the hopes that he may be ready to contribute after the Week 4 bye (if Darnold hasn’t returned yet).

With Kaepernick, there is always the element of controversy. But teams don’t succeed by shying away from something just because it is bold or controversial.

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I fully understand that many Jets fans would never want to sign Colin Kaepernick given his history of political protests and kneeling during the National Anthem.

I’m not asking anyone to agree with his beliefs or methods, but is it really necessary or even realistic to expect everyone in an organization to agree on everything?

Surely there are players in the Jets locker room right now who agree with Kaepernick and others who do not, yet they are able to coexist in the locker room and play football together.

And if NFL players are able to stay in the league after committing a litany of crimes (i.e. DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault), surely there is room for a player who peacefully protests in a way that some fans find offensive?

Bottom line, if you remove the elements of politics and controversy aside, Colin Kaepernick is clearly the best free-agent quarterback out there.

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If the Jets want to improve their team from a strictly football perspective, they should give him a tryout and seriously consider signing him.

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