Don’t bother telling Tony Dungy that the NFL has blackballed Colin Kaepernick.
Speaking Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show, the former Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame head coach didn’t dismiss the idea that Kaepernick’s protest has played a part in keeping him unemployed. However, Dungy sees the former anthem-protesting quarterback’s lack of difference-making skills as the larger factor.
“Yes, it all stems back to not [standing] for the national anthem and the reaction that that’s going to get from fans. But if people perceived Colin Kaepernick as a difference maker, as a guy who could be their starting quarterback and help them win games, he would be signed now and people would deal with the repercussions,” Dungy said. “I think everybody sees him maybe as a backup. Is he a guy who can really help us? Am I just going to get three or four games a year? If that’s the case, it’s not worth the headache, it’s not worth the distraction, it’s not worth the number of fans we would turn off.”
According to Pro Football Talk, “Asked whether he would want Kaepernick if he were still coaching, Dungy said it would depend on the type of offense his team ran. Dungy said a team that wants a pocket passer wouldn’t see Kaepernick as the right player, but he thinks Seattle could be a good fit because Kaepernick can do some of the same things Russell Wilson does.”
Dungy brings up an interesting point. Perhaps we’ve framed the argument wrong. Following the Dungy-ian theorem to its logical conclusion, the issue isn’t whether or not Colin Kaepernick is good enough to have a job in the NFL, the issue is whether Colin Kaepernick will be good enough to offset the public backlash that’s sure to ensue once he’s signed.
That’s an entirely different question. A question with a clear answer…no.
While Kaepernick has enough raw ability to play in the NFL, there’s nothing about his performance last year that portends greatness, and if he won’t achieve greatness, then how could he ever make the grief of having him on your roster worth it?
Tony Dungy is 100% right.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn