Players that protest together stick together.
Current Denver Bronco and former college teammate of Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Marshall, made a show of Twitter support for Kaepernick on Thursday, saying it’s time for a team to sign his college buddy. Why? Because he’s better than everyone else who has already signed:
It’s time my Brother @Kaepernick7 gets signed. He’s better than every QB that got signed in Free agency
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh54) April 14, 2017
To recap, Marshall played with Kaepernick at the University of Nevada, and took a knee in solidarity with the former 49er QB for the first three months of the 2016 season. Marshall then began losing endorsements, and soon after, ended his protest.
Now, he joins several other NFL players in either questioning why Kaepernick doesn’t have a job, or calling for NFL teams to step up and sign him.
To date, here’s the list of QBs who have signed deals with new teams this offseason: Mike Glennon, Geno Smith, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, Nick Foles, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray and Matt Barkley.
Is Colin Kaepernick a better quarterback than all of those players? Yes.
But of course, it’s not that simple.
The protest movement that the former 49er QB launched last year remains a real concern to NFL teams, as evidenced by the Bleacher Report story last month where an anonymous AFC general manager said, “[S]ome teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or [President Donald] Trump will tweet about the team.”
Then there are reports that Kaepernick has asked for a contract that gives him between nine and ten million dollars a year, a contract the anthem-kneeling quarterback probably would have scoffed at three years ago. But now, after three years of regression, aging, the fact that he’s never added elements to his game, and a ton of political baggage, he seems like way too much risk in exchange for far too little reward.
So, in truth, Kaepernick has no one to blame but himself for why he’s still unemployed.
However, true to their millennial nature, the players supporting Kaepernick absolve him of any personal responsibility for his actions, even given the fact that he has put himself in this position.
Instead, they shift focus to the teams as if there’s some great mystery or conspiracy behind why he doesn’t have a job, suggesting that a player should have the right to offend cops, veterans, and millions of ordinary American citizens while demanding unrealistic amounts of money and allowing his skill level to deteriorate, and still have a guaranteed job.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn