What if Colin Kaepernick joined the Los Angeles Chargers’ quarterback room?
The former starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers has not played in the league since 2016. He has spent the last three years out of football for political reasons, among other things. Now that the NFL seems to be embracing the Black Lives Matter movement whole-heartedly, could Kaepernick be on an NFL roster as early as 2020?
Though no team has officially invited him to work out for them, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn took a crucial first step in helping Kaepernick by getting back into the league. He told ESPN, “It would be crazy to not have him on your workout list.”
Lynn, one of three black head coaches in the league, added, “I haven’t spoken with Colin, not sure where he’s at as far in his career, what he wants to do, but Colin definitely fits the style of quarterback for the system that we’re going to be running. I’m very confident and happy with the three quarterbacks that I have but you can never have too many people waiting on the runway.”
What are the chances the Los Angeles Chargers sign Colin Kaepernick?
Lynn has three quarterbacks on his roster he really likes: Week 1 starter Tyrod Taylor, No. 6 overall draft pick out of Oregon Justin Herbert and four-time FCS National Championship at North Dakota State Easton Stick. The Chargers have a loaded roster outside of the quarterback position. Here is why Lynn and the Bolts should entertain the idea of bringing him in for a workout.
In terms of the old tired excuse of Kaepernick being a “distraction,” what is it a distraction from with the Chargers? This team has almost no fans after leaving San Diego for Los Angeles a few years back. They played in a soccer stadium as the second tenant to the MLS’ LA Galaxy the last two seasons in front of 95 percent fans of the other team. If any team needs some publicity, it undoubtedly is the Bolts.
From a schematic standpoint, Kaepernick would work well in Lynn’s offense. This was the system Taylor had great success running as a member of the Buffalo Bills a few years ago. It allows a quarterback to extend plays with his legs, relying on a ball-control offensive ground attack. If Kaepernick still has decent wheels, he’d be a good fit in Lynn’s system at least schematically.
Lastly, Lynn has to win to keep his job in 2021. The Chargers have a tremendous general manager in Tom Telesco and are playing in brand-new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood as the second tenant to the NFC’s Los Angeles Rams. They have to make some noise this year and at least challenge for an AFC Wild Card berth this fall. This team is too talented to be picking inside of the top-10 again.
We know what Taylor is, and there is a good chance he’d still beat out Kaepernick in a competition. Though there is a lot to like about Herbert, he’s raw as a quarterback prospect compared to the guy who went ahead of him in Joe Burrow to the Cincinnati Bengals and Tua Tagovailoa to the Miami Dolphins. Despite Lynn loving Stick as a player, he’s just a guy at this point of his career.
Los Angeles is big enough of a media market where it could theoretically handle a star backup quarterback. Playing time may be hard to come by because Taylor knows the system and the Bolts will want to develop Herbert at some point. Should either of them struggle in camp or get hurt during the season, maybe Telesco calls up Kaepernick’s agent and schedules a workout after all?
Kaepernick may never get back into the NFL, but we can applaud Lynn for trying to open the door.