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The free agency market officially has another quarterback option for needy teams.
Colin Kaepernick will opt out of his San Francisco 49ers contract, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Wednesday. That will begin an unpredictable free agency period for Kaepernick.
Before even getting to the national anthem protests, Kaepernick is no sure thing as a quarterback. Though, he is still intriguing in some ways. Kaepernick peaked in 2012 and 2013, and has never recaptured that. However, his 2016 season included enough positives to pique teams’ curiosity, and just enough negatives to make prospective employers nervous. He had 16 touchdowns and four interceptions and a 90.7 passer rating on a dreadful 49ers team. He also had just 2,241 passing yards in 12 games and he displayed the same problems playing from the pocket that led to his 2014 and 2015 struggles.
And yes, Kaepernick’s social activism will be discussed by teams as well. Kaepernick famously led the protest over racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, and became the most controversial player of the 2016 season. In the mostly conservative world of NFL leadership, it’s safe to say that didn’t go over well with everyone. It’s fair to wonder if that will affect his job possibilities going forward.
Kaepernick is just 29 years old and once led the 49ers to a Super Bowl with a fantastic season, and then led the 49ers to an NFC championship game the following year. He has a very strong arm and is a marvelous runner. He still has flashes of his old superstar self, like last Nov. 27 at the Miami Dolphins when he threw for 296 yards, rushed for 113 and almost led a 2-14 49ers team to a win over a Miami team that ended up in the playoffs. At his best he’s probably one of the 32 best quarterbacks in football.
Are those glimpses enough to get a team interested in his services? We’re about to find out.
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