Arizona Cardinals: Why Blaine Gabbert over Colin Kaepernick?
The Arizona Cardinals signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert to a one-year deal, but why is he getting a job as Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned.
The Arizona Cardinals have a questionable group of quarterbacks behind the aging Carson Palmer that includes Drew Stanton and Zac Dysert. Now, with the signing of Blaine Gabbert, the quarterback room just got even more crowded. Whether or not it got more talented, though, remains questionable. It’s much more of a question than it would’ve been had Arizona signed Colin Kaepernick, at least.
Why would general manager Steve Keim go out and sign Gabbert? He doesn’t have a winning record in today’s NFL. In fact, according to Shannon Sharpe, Gabbert has the worst win/loss ratio amongst a group of 166 quarterbacks that’ve started 40-or-more games since the 1970 NFL merger.
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Sharpe also dropped another stat on Undisputed: Of the quarterbacks that’ve signed with a team this year, Josh McCown (using the same statistical measure as before) has the fifth worst win/loss percentage.
Neither Gabbert nor McCown have proven they can handle the load of being a consistent starting quarterback in the NFL. Sure, they can come in in a reserve roll and maybe ride off of a good defense but not much more. So if they’re getting calls from NFL teams, the question from Kaepernick supporters is why? Why is Gabbert, a former first-round pick that’s completed just 56 percent of his passes in his six-year career, employed today and Kaepernick isn’t?
Kaepernick isn’t still looking for work because he’s not a better quarterback than Gabbert and McCown. He willingly took a knee during the national anthem last season, protesting the way minorities were being treated by police and police brutality as a whole. And even though he’s stated that he plans to stand for the national anthem in 2017, he’s still unable to find a suitor.
So what does all of this have to do with Gabbert signing in Arizona? Nothing, really. Or it shouldn’t. The two are connected in a way after both playing for the San Francisco 49ers the past two seasons, most notably last year when Kaepernick took over quarterback duties and made Gabbert look like an amateur. Outside of that, their only connection is that Kaepernick would’ve brought more talent into the Cardinals QB room.
That’s the problem Sharpe had with Gabbert’s signing with the Cardinals, and McCown’s with the New York Jets. However, Gabbert is perceived as the safer option as he doesn’t come with the PR storm that would inevitably come or will come for whichever team signs Kaepernick. Whether that PR storm is deserved or not, it’s understandable why an organization would want to avoid it — even if it means bringing in a less talented player.