The Seattle Seahawks are reportedly considering Colin Kaepernick as a backup quarterback option, and he should be their top choice.
At this point, there’s no need to dive into the connection between the Seattle Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick. The team is in need of a viable backup quarterback option. Meanwhile, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is looking for a job still. What’s more, Seattle head coach Pete Caroll has mentioned that Kaepernick is someone they’ve considered. Moreover, some members of the Seahawks have voiced their support of bringing in Kaepernick.
Obviously the need and the potential for a move to be made are there. The Seahawks need was something that was truthfully present a year ago. Former TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was a developmental project at best. But with him experiencing a bit of off-field trouble this offseason, his future in Seattle is dubious at best. That leaves them with Jake Heaps (who?) and undrafted free agents as their current options to back up Russell Wilson.
Though he didn’t miss any significant time, the prospect of him doing so in 2017 has to be of concern to the Seahawks. He was banged up for much of last season and the offensive line play was atrocious in 2016. What’s more, it shouldn’t be notably better in 2017 as even versatile rookie Ethan Pocic can’t play at all five spots at once.
As such, bringing in a player like Kaepernick would make sense. With that being said, there’s actually no better option than the former 49ers signal-caller. It’s a perfect marriage of need for a team and fit for a player. Here are three reasons as to why.
December 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) shakes hands with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) after the game at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
3. Familiarity with NFC West, Seahawks
Colin Kaepernick has not been in Seahawks practices or huddles. However, he has spent his entire career in the same division as Seattle, the NFC West. As such, he’s scouted the Seahawks more than most quarterbacks, learning the ins and outs of their teams and how their schemes operate. Though that doesn’t guarantee anything, it would at least give him somewhat of a head start in terms of getting familiarized with the playbook.
In addition to having that level of closeness to the Seahawks already, he in turn also knows about the rest of the division. Though there are 16 games in a season and only six are in the division, you’re not going to make the playoffs if you don’t win inside the division. Kaepernick obviously wouldn’t be responsible for that in Week 1. He’s not going to supplant Wilson as the starter by any stretch of the imagination.
However, this is all about having a contingency plan. And if something were to happen to Wilson in terms of an injury, having a player familiar with the most pivotal competition would be a huge asset for Seattle. He would understand better than any other backup option what he was about to face. What’s more, he would also be able to provide knowledge in the quarterback room with Wilson as to weaknesses that he’s noticed throughout his experience. That alone could be a huge advantage for the Seahawks.
Sep 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) talk following a 37-18 Seattle victory at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
2. Seahawks have right culture to handle media storm
Whether you agree or disagree with any side of what Colin Kaepernick has done or is protesting, one simple fact remains. Whichever team that he signs with is going to come under the microscope. Everything that involves the team and the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is going to be analyzed to nauseating degrees. But that’s another reason as to why the Seahawks make so much sense for Kaepernick.
It’s far from a stretch to say that the Seahawks as an organization are adept at embracing media firestorms. When you employ outspoken players and guys with personalities of Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett (among others), that comes with the territory. As a result of that, though, they wouldn’t be the least bit fazed by any media controversy stirred up. It would be another day at the office and something else they can move past.
What’s more, it’s also important to note that Sherman and many other Seahawks players vocally supported Kaepernick’s protests in the 2016 season. As such, Kaepernick wouldn’t be left out on an island in the locker room. He would be entering an environment where he would be supported. For a player that clearly needs confidence coming out of his past situation, that’s vital for him.
January 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs the football against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
1. Necessary tools to fill the void
It’s far from overstating the situation to say that the Seahawks have an exceptionally special player under center in Russell Wilson. Obviously he’s special in terms of his leadership and immense talent. However, he’s also special in the luxuries he affords the offense. With his ability to stretch plays with his legs, the need for a top-tier offensive line isn’t a premium one. What’s more, the offense is able to survive plays and drives they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
For the flaws that Kaepernick has as a player, he possesses similar abilities. When he was fully in charge of the 49ers offense, his ability to extend and make plays with his legs was at the heart of his value. He was dynamic and he was a playmaker made more dangerous because of the same things that make Wilson a threat.
If Wilson were to go down, there is obviously a drop-off in terms of ability from him to Kaepernick. However, in terms of the dynamic ability of the offense and the scheme, the drop-off would be minimal. Kaepernick could provide the same type of threat with his physical tools. Thus, the offense wouldn’t take as substantial hit as they would with other options. Ultimately, it all comes down to level of play, and Kaepernick would give the Seahawks the best option in a worst-case scenario situation of Wilson missing time.