Kaepernick Rose and Fell Against Packers
Colin Kaepernick will work out for teams on Saturday. According to the guest list announced by the NFL, the Green Bay Packers are not among the teams that have pledged to send a representative to the event. Former Packers offensive coordinator and interim head coach Joe Philbin will be part of the showcase.
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and owns the second-lowest interception percentage in NFL history, hasn’t played since 2016.
More likely than not, there are teams that decided not to sign Kaepernick because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem.
More likely than not, other teams saw a player with diminishing production and didn’t see the need to deal with the circus that inevitably would follow.
Kaepernick took the league by storm in the 2012 playoffs. In a divisional playoff game against Green Bay on Jan. 12, 2013, Kaepernick threw for 263 yards, rushed for 181 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. The 49ers won 45-31 behind one of the great individual performances in NFL history.
In the 2013 regular-season opener, Kaepernick destroyed the Packers with 412 passing yards and three touchdowns to power San Francisco’s 34-28 victory. About four months later, Kaepernick threw for 227 yards, rushed for 98 more and lifted the 49ers to a 23-20 wild-card victory at Lambeau Field.
However, on Oct. 4, 2015, the Packers turned the tables in a 17-3 victory. Kaepernick turned in a horrendous performance, going 13-of-22 for 160 yards. He threw one interception, fumbled once, was sacked six times and had a passer rating of 55.4. That came on the heels of a four-interception, 16.7 rating in a blowout loss at Arizona.
In 2015 and 2016, the 49ers went 3-16 in Kaepernick’s starts and a 4-9 with Blaine Gabbert.
After averaging 8.3 yards per attempt in 2012, Kaepernick averaged 6.7 those final two seasons. In his final 19 starts, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes five times.
With such a downturn in production, it’s easy to see why Kaepernick’s career came to an abrupt halt. With a parade of recycled quarterbacks getting chance after chance, it’s also easy to see why he believes his controversial politics has kept him out of the game.
For teams and fans, will Kaepernick be remembered as American or un-American? And will he be remembered as the juggernaut who destroyed the Packers twice or the one who performed so miserably in 2015? The answers to those questions, perhaps as much as Saturday's workout – contrived as it appears to be from the NFL’s perspective – will go a long way toward determining his football future.
Video: The Packers' final schedule