Pros and Cons of Signing Colin Kaepernick

© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
John Maakaron

Colin Kaepernick has not played a down of NFL football since 2016. 

It was reported on Tuesday that the league set up an audition for Kaepernick to display his skills. 

This Saturday, any NFL team that wants to evaluate him and potentially sign the controversial quarterback is invited to attend.

The Lions could be a team that sends representatives to see if Kaepernick would be worth signing. 

Losing Matthew Stafford for potentially an extended stretch of time makes it plausible that any and all available quarterbacks should be evaluated. 

Backup Jeff Driskel held his own agains the Bears, but displayed traits of a quarterback who has not played in recent months. 

He made a key error by throwing an interception early in the third quarter that Detroit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell described as putting the Lions in a bad situation. 

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of signing Kaepernick.


Based on Kaepernick's experience and talent, he would be an upgrade over any backup that is currently on the roster. 

The Lions likely have zero chance of winning any football games with Driskel under center.

And the Lions are currently in need of a veteran ready to step in should Stafford miss an extended period of time with fractured bones in his back. 

By taking a chance, the Lions would show other potential free agents that the team is progressive and willing to take risks, despite facing backlash from many that would be strongly opposed to the signing.

Many across the league still believe Kaepernick can suit up and contribute to an NFL franchise. 

It is everything else that surrounds the outspoken quarterback that has hindered his chances of returning to the league.


The biggest initial drawback would be the strong reaction from fans which are against what Kaepernick has stood for. 

To what degree would those go to voice their displeasure? Would there be vocal protests or even fans boycotting the team? 

Purely speculating about Kaepernick draws such vitriolic responses that many organizations simply shy away from bringing him in.

Three seasons have passed since he last played in the NFL in 2016 with the San Francisco 49ers. 

As a result, there will be an adjustment period for him to get re-acclimated to the speed of the game. 

Not many quarterbacks just walk into an organization and are proficient at running an offense. There would definitely be a transition period. 

Will he sign with the Lions?

It is very unlikely Kaepernick ends up a Detroit Lion. 

If Quandre Diggs, as a team captain, was shipped out of town for voicing his opinion, how would the Lions view Kaepernick and the daily attention he would draw?

Whether it is right or wrong, the Lions are attempting to instill a culture of putting your head down and grinding. 

Players with strong personalities are likely viewed as detrimental to team chemistry, and speaking out publicly is frowned upon in some form or another.

Drawing national attention daily is nowhere near what Lions management wants to bring in to the locker room. 

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

No one is denying that people get treated differently for color, language, sexual orientation, etc etc. But I will not ever watch any game with Kaepernick in it because he disrespected the entire nation in his acts during the anthem. I have no problem with him protesting along with anyone else during any other time. But not when our country should be respected. I'm a die-hard Lions fan, and I have lions viewing parties at my home anytime the lions play. But me and all my friends are not going to put up with the Kaepernick who thought it was all right to be so disrespectful to The flag and what it means to this nation.


Lion fans have become so used to their team losing and I believe would welcome any quarterback who can deliver no matter who he is. Let's face it, there are plenty of athletes who have done horrible things (beating girlfriends and possibly even murder). So I have no problem with a guy who was willing to risk his profession to stand up against something that was important to him. To deny that police treat people of color differently is to bury one's face in the sand.