Hart: Colin Kaepernick makes no sense for the Patriots

Andy Hart
June 12, 2020 - 6:59 am
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For some strange reason there has been a groundswell of support on talk radio, social media and the all-important internet for the Patriots to sign heretofore blackballed NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Listen to your team news NOW.

The Boston Globe called for it in a lengthy column last week.

More recently, Congressman Joe Kennedy III put his GM advisors cap on via Twitter.

And plenty of random Joes have expressed the same.

The simple question is why? Why the Patriots in particular? Why now?

Because unless something's changed, the Patriots-should-sign-Colin Kaepernick panderers can be countered and quieted with two simple words.

A first and last name, actually.

Cam Newton.

While New England’s actions throughout the offseason have made it clear they don’t believe they need another quarterback – seemingly pointing toward some degree of confidence that fourth-round pick from a year ago Jarrett Stidham might be poised to take over the starting job in Foxborough in the first year A.B., After Brady – even if they were so inclined at this late point in the offseason roster-building process, Kaepernick isn’t even the best option.

Sure the controversial former 49ers star better known for leading a movement of his NFL brethren in a kneeling protest during the National Anthem back in 2016-2017 than leading San Francisco to within a hair of a Super Bowl win once had some degree of obvious NFL talent.

At his best he was an athletic, efficient playmaker. A unique weapon.

But Newton – who also remains a free agent, though he’s only been on the open market for a few months unlike Kaepernick’s few years – is a better option for any team looking to make a move to improve rather than a move to make a political statement.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Patriots are still a football team and a business. They exist to win football games and make money.

New England isn’t some charitable employment organization looking to get the unemployed back on their feet.

If Bill Belichick – and by extension the Kraft family – wanted to sign another quarterback, a reclamation project who was once one of the more successful passers in the game that is their right. Even then the best option for that would be Newton, not Kaepernick.

Newton was the league MVP. A guy who led the Panthers to a 15-1 record as the focal point in one of the most productive, unique attacks in the game. Sure he’s tailed off in recent years and been banged up, but at least he played on an NFL field as recently as last fall.

At his best, Kaepernick was never as good as Newton.

Set to turn 32 later this year – older than Newton – fair or not, Kaepernick’s best days on the football field are likely behind him. Even the best of talents would struggle to return from a three-season hiatus to succeed in the NFL, regardless of any other off-field issues that the quarterback’s signing would stimulate.

The Patriots signing Kaepernick simply makes little to no sense for the team. Nonsense, really.

They passed on better-suited veteran options already this spring. They passed on top-rated prospects in the draft. They have four guys on the roster. And they appear to be setting up Stidham to win the job and prove his mettle, something that would be undermined inside and outside the locker room by bringing in a big-name, big distraction like Kaepernick, or even Newton.

Signing Kaepernick would be little more than a make-good, symbolic reparation reclamation focused on pretty much everything other than what the focus of the organization has been for two decades – doing what’s in the best interest of the football team.

It also wouldn’t actually do anything to solve any of the ongoing issues with racism, racial injustice or police brutality as a whole, either in the NFL or the country.

It would, however, somehow seemingly make a lot of people feel better about themselves and the world around them.

Unfortunately that’s not Belichick and the Patriots priority.

They’re still a business and a football team.

All New England can do is its job, as the t-shirts say.

And it’s not the Patriots’ job to make some sort of politically-, socially- or morally-symbolic statement by signing Kaepernick.

Sorry. Nice try though.

Related: James White: Patriots ‘will figure something out as a team’ to peacefully protest on game days