U.S. Senator Marco Rubio told TMZ Sports he doesn’t think there are “64 better quarterbacks playing in the NFL right now” than free agent Colin Kaepernick. Rubio also said, that if he were an NFL owner, and Kaepernick was the best QB available, he would sign him.
TMZ Sports asked the Florida senator if the Jacksonville Jaguars should consider Kaepernick after starting QB Nick Foles broke his collarbone on Sunday.
“Yeah, I’ve always said that there certainly aren’t 64 better quarterbacks playing in the NFL right now,” Rubio said to the unnamed TMZ reporter at an Amtrak Station. “There’s a lot that goes into those decisions why teams hire a guy or not, bring in a guy or not. I don’t know where he is. He hasn’t played in three years.”
Kaepernick last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, the same season he started the anthem-kneeling movement, which has been reduced to just two NFL players this year – Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid and Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills. Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice.
Kaepernick sued the NFL owners for colluding to keep him out of the league, and settled for an undisclosed financial amount.
The reporter asked Rubio if the Jaguars need a QB to compliment their great defense (which wasn’t great Sunday against Kansas City, giving up 40 points).
“They do, their problem has always been at quarterback,” Rubio said.
The reporter asked again if Kaepernick deserves a shot.
“I’m not an NFL owner, but I can tell you, I don’t think there are 64 better quarterbacks,” Rubio said. “It’s obviously not football that’s keeping him away. This is a game that’s starved for quarterbacks. So obviously people just think, owners, whatever, that he brings too many other things with him that they don’t want around.”
The reporter continued to hound Rubio about Kaepernick, asking, “Florida is gung-ho for football, so are they willing to maybe put aside Kaepernick’s political differences?”
“I mean, I watch games for the fun of it, I get plenty of politics at my work,” Rubio said. “If I were an owner, and he was the best guy, I would bring him in, despite the other stuff. There is a lot that goes into that. I don’t know how fans would react. My guess is they are winning a lot of games they would be more tolerant of it.”
But it might be a tough sell in North Florida, which is very conservative, and has a big military footprint.
In October of 2017, Jaguars President Mark Lamping apologized for some Jacksonville players kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner before a September 24, 2017 game in London.
Lamping said the team was “remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration on foreign soil has had on the men and women who have or continue to serve our country. This was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation.”
So, Kaepernick might not be a good market fit in Jacksonville.
And for now, the Jaguars are going with Gardner Minshew at QB, a rookie out of Washington State.