Could Colin Kaepernick Back Up Tom Brady in Tampa Bay?

Luke Easterling

In the wake of protests against police brutality rising up all over the country, and even across the world, the NFL joined the chorus of organizations issuing public statements about racism and social justice.

But the league's initial statement left much to be desired by the players, and they responded with a strong statement of their own, a video response put together by the league's own production team without the NFL's knowledge of their involvement.

That led to a new and improved statement from the league, a video from commissioner Roger Goodell, posted Friday evening. Among other things, Goodell addresses the league's failures in the way they responded to the players' peaceful protests against police brutality and racism in recent years, a movement spearheaded by Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick's peaceful protests were met with strong criticism by many back in 2016, and the backlash, both from fans and the league itself, would eventually lead to Kaepernick being out of the league after that season.

But now that the league appears to be reversing course with regards to the protests, will it open the door for Kaepernick's return to the league?

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Sure, he's been out of the league for three years, but he's still just 32 years old. During that 2016 season, Kaepernick threw 16 touchdown passes to just four interceptions in 12 games, adding 468 yards and a pair of scores on the ground. His unique skill set could be a valuable addition for many teams, at the game's most important position.

If Kaepernick does make a return to the NFL, would the Tampa Bay Buccaneers be among the teams interested in signing him?

Tom Brady is obviously locked in as the team's starter for at least the next two seasons, but there's not much to be excited about behind him on Tampa Bay's depth chart. 

As fate would have it, the Bucs' current backup to Brady is Blaine Gabbert, who battled with Kaepernick for the starting job with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. Gabbert initially won the job to start the year, as Kaepernick was coming off of multiple injuries and offseason surgeries. Kaepernick outplayed Gabbert that year, but would end up opting out of his contract at the end of the season.

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Behind Gabbert, the Bucs have an inexperienced veteran in long-time preseason star Ryan Griffin, in addition to undrafted rookie free agent Reid Sinnett.

Gabbert's familiarity with the offensive scheme run by Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is his strongest asset, but Kaepernick's skill set would give Tampa Bay a versatile weapon who could allow them to get creative with various play packages in certain situations.

The largest obstacle to Kaepernick finding a home with the Bucs, or anywhere in the league for that matter, might be fears of backlash from a portion of the fan base. While many fans would be thrilled at the thought of Kaepernick returning to the league and playing for their favorite team, others might not be so accommodating. When Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans had his own peaceful protest back in 2016, many Tampa Bay fans responded in strong opposition, leading to an apology from Evans just days later.

While Brady is the clear-cut starter in Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future, Kaepernick would be an intriguing addition to an already powerful Bucs offense. He would give their potent attack a weapon it doesn't currently have, and would allow Brady to take a breather every now and then.

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Comments (64)
No. 1-28
kormathaw1
kormathaw1

Kaepernick is essentially Tebow 2.0. Does he have talent, sure. Has he strung together some wins in his career? Sure. Is he a media circus? Absolutely. Did they get cut because of the media circus? No. They got cut because the NFL is a meritocracy. They were not better than their competition. If they want to bring him in for his skillset, by all means. If they want to bring him in for PR, that's pathetic pandering.

KeithInTampa
KeithInTampa

"Could Colin Kaepernick Back Up Tom Brady in Tampa Bay?"

NO!

Bullit6908
Bullit6908

You know I'm a white guy and Kaepernick was not a bad quarterback he took them to the Superbowl then he was on a team that didn't have any offensive line and not a very good defense and he got send out of the league after that year. Social Injustice should not be tolerated in or out of sports so what if he peacefully protested I served in the military do I agree with the fact that he doesn't stand for the national anthem no I don't, but as an ex-military person I fought for his right to do so so all of you who want to judge should think about your lives if you are good enough to play in the NFL you would be but you're not he is that's why you're an armchair quarterback and he's relevant because he has a skill set that Tampa Bay doesn't have if you can help your team win and give Brady some rest what are you complaining for he was right after all this time he was right get over it!

Gunther Newby
Gunther Newby

Defund the NFL!

Legionthecat2
Legionthecat2

The sports arena..no matter what sport...is not the place to voice your complaints about how you are treated...you take the money, you need to do the job!...complain on your own time!....i would do that on my job and i wouldn't have that job any more!...we dont need kaepernick in tampa...he was not that good as a quarterback....and as for any other team that could use another quarterback....unless you have money to burn, and time to put out the brush fires kaepernick starts i wouldnt look at him....!

BLMMF
BLMMF

There a new NFL coming. Practically gave Trump the middle finger.

DavidDornMattered
DavidDornMattered

Article is pandering to the BLM movement, absolutely pathetic. Colin’s attempt to politicize the NFL should not be tolerated by any team, completely disrespectful to the paying fans.

Kevin.7.11
Kevin.7.11

Kaepernick was fading as a QB five years ago and so started some controversy to stay relevant. If he comes back now, he’ll still suck and literally have a position only to stop his whining. #blm but he doesn’t.

Bossman2543
Bossman2543

Why do you write these stupid stories? Brady has signed a fully guaranteed 50M
contract to win a Super Bowl now. Why would the owners, coaches and locker room want the media circus and constant distraction of having Kaepernick around?
There are plenty of options out there for a backup.

Jimmy321
Jimmy321

Kaepernick is not being ignored by the NFL because he's an asshole, its because he's just not that good.

slktuc
slktuc

NFL Teams want to attract fans not alienate them. I certainly watch any game he plays in.

Davwinn
Davwinn

The QB position is the most difficult to fill. If this guy was good enough, he'd be playing right now. A team would be willing to put up with his carp if he could bring the goods. He can't. He's not a good QB and combined with his self made baggage, he's just not worth it.

A2RJ
A2RJ

This is a totally fabricated story by the racist media complex to capitalize on the division of the country. They do this intentionally to create division between black & white because they know it's ratings gold. Then they create their self centered PSA about how we're all "in this together" to disguise this fact and comfort their conciseness. The media complex is the true enemy of the people!

Kranzley
Kranzley

If they want Raymond James Stadium mostly empty on home game Sundays, sure, they'll sign him. This guy is trouble. His goal may be noble, but his method of promoting it and his attitude are a turn off, especially after all the riots, looting, and arson.

OzzyMandiaz
OzzyMandiaz

That would be totally disruptive to the team and fan support, bad idea.

Whispers.....
Whispers.....

Sign Tebow too..... If you want the Bucks to win.

GaryD123
GaryD123

I don't care for Brady and I despise Kaepernick.

Having said that, I do consider Brady as one of the best, perhaps THE best, QBs of all time.

As for Kaepernick, he isn't qualified to hold Brady's balls, let alone try to catch one.

SportsBoycott
SportsBoycott

You get respect by giving respect. Get it!

SportsBoycott
SportsBoycott

Not sure Brady would dig the racist's socks that depict police as pigs. And Brady would NEVER kneel.

CantBeSerious
CantBeSerious

This is click-bait and not a serious story. Firs of all, Kapoy was already on the way out of the league whwn he started protesting. There were already zero teams interested in him.
Secondly, you don’t pull quarterbacks “for breathers”. You already have Gabbart for that were you to do so.
Thirdly, regardless what one thinks of Kappy, making it to the playoffs is really hard; the distraction he would cause would nueter a team.

He has no chance of making it back, based on lack of skills alone. Backing up Brady is laughable.

Javilocha
Javilocha

SI is bs. 😱

Javilocha
Javilocha

He's the REAL Black Nikes Matter. 😱

Missy Prissy
Missy Prissy

You are what's wrong with this country.

CMac54
CMac54

One trick pony. No different than a boxer that can't adapt. NFL has the script on how to beat him. Once he was figured out, he couldn't beat out Blaine Gabbert. No different that Vince Young.

Blues
Blues

When Justin Trudeau and police officers around the US took a knee, I knew the tide had turned. I knew they were referencing Kap's peaceful protest of taking a knee and I knew Kap would play again.

DaveS1
DaveS1

Will never watch another game if he does. He made is bed now live with it
Trump 2020

SLOPPO
SLOPPO

OK Racist...


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