Colin Kaepernick’s path to the NFL should not include the Jacksonville Jaguars
Adding Colin Kaepernick to the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback room could do more harm than good for the 2020 season.
If Colin Kaepernick does make his way back to the NFL this season, it should not be in a Jacksonville Jaguars uniform.
The fact remains that until Kaepernick, who has yet to play in the NFL since the 2016 season, is signed by another team outside North Florida, there will continue to be discussions of the quarterback and his connection to the Jaguars.
Because of questions that linger about the starting quarterback job, even though the front office and coaching staff appear to be supportive of Gardner Minshew, the fact the second-year pro is still learning the position in the NFL means there will be analysts that see this as a perfect fit.
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I am not one of them.
Kaepernick deserves another chance to play in the NFL, but should not be at the expense of Minshew, who won all six of the Jacksonville Jaguars games last season, the most of any rookie quarterback in the league in 2019. The former sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State has already taken over part of the leadership role of this roster, working this offseason to stay in touch with his teammates, helping to galvanize a locker room with plenty of new faces.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the process of attempting to build something for the future, with new players and a new culture part of the diagram. As head coach Doug Marrone said prior to the NFL Draft, he wants a locker room free of drama. The culture of the entire organization is on that path as well.
Kaepernick, right or wrong, brings an entirely different perspective to the Jaguars or any football team he could sign a contract with. And for a roster that is one of the youngest in the NFL this season, bringing in a player who will create hot-button topics just by being on the roster, the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t need that kind of notoriety right now.
"“Kaepernick’s protests against police brutality in 2016 did not go over well with NFL owners, front offices, and coaching staffs — he hasn’t played in three years, effectively blackballed by the league because he was an outspoken critic,” Ryan Day of Big Cat Country writes."
Besides those issues, the Jaguars front office must be willing to win and lose with Minshew, determining if he really is the future quarterback of this team or will there be a new rookie on the scene or another veteran added to next season’s roster?
While the Jaguars as an organization have taken a stand against racial and social injustice this offseason, the players appear more committed to changing the culture inside TIAA Bank Field. Also, given the tenuous situation with the coaching staff and front office for this season, does bringing in Kaepernick make sense, regardless of the off-field issues the NFL is dealing with right now?
The Jacksonville Jaguars must continue to follow their current game plan with Minshew in the driver’s seat and Mike Glennon or Joshua Dobbs as his backup. It’s the right way to determine the team’s future – with or without Minshew as the focus of the quarterback position.
The team’s blueprint should stay as it is right now.