The Seattle Seahawks have a complicated history with Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback began his career playing a key role in many epic 49ers-Seahawks rivalry matchups but in recent years Pete Carroll has been outspoken about his support of Kaepernick.
Seattle was one of the few teams that brought Kaepernick in for a workout in 2017 but opted not to sign the quarterback. Carroll recently admitted his “regret” for how things played out with Kaepernick.
“I regret that we weren’t the one way back when that just did it just to do it, even though I thought that it wasn’t the right fit necessarily for us at the time,” Carroll said, per ESPN. “The reason it wasn’t the right fit is because I held him in such a high regard I didn’t see him as a backup quarterback and I didn’t want to put him in that situation with Russ. It just didn’t feel like it would fit right. That’s the way I felt about it. So I just wish it would happen, and I wish we would have been a part of it when the time was available then. We’re kind of set up right now, so football-wise, it doesn’t seem to fit us like I said. But there’s a lot of time here. We’ll see what happens.”
The Seahawks Have No Plans to Sign Kaepernick Unless Wilson Misses Time
Despite his regret, Carroll once again noted the Seahawks had no plans to sign Kaepernick. Carroll did leave one caveat which is that the team would strongly consider signing Kaepernick if Russell Wilson were forced to miss time.
“I love the way Geno fits together in a role and all that, so it’s not really available at this time for us,” Carroll explained, per The Seattle Times. “But I’ve said this ongoing for years, if Russ ever got tangled up and couldn’t play or something that Kaep would have been an extraordinary candidate to take over. We’re kind of set-up right now, so football-wise it doesn’t seem to fit is. But you know, there’s a lot of time here, we’ll see what happens.”
There Was Reportedly Tension in the Seahawks Locker Room in 2017 Between Wilson & His Teammates
Carroll’s explanation for why the Seahawks have not signed Kaepernick has repeatedly centered on the Seahawks coach emphasizing that he is a starting quarterback. This explanation did not seem to fully match up as NFL teams are always looking to add depth at every position, even if they have a surplus.
Carroll also denied that Kaepernick’s protests during the national anthem had anything to do with the Seahawks’ decision contrary to what has been widely reported. The Seahawks have had players protest during the anthem so this explanation did not appear to be 100 percent accurate even before Carroll’s explanation.
ESPN 710 Seattle’s Danny O’Neil offered a more plausible explanation tied to the team’s locker room in 2017 and the tension between some of the Seahawks players and Wilson. O’Neil explained that Carroll worried that adding Kaepernick could grow this tension in the locker room even more.
“There was a significant football component to Seattle’s decision not to sign Colin Kaepernick in 2017: Some of the #Seahawks’ stronger personalities didn’t have the most favorable view of the starting quarterback,” O’Neil explained on Twitter. “…Kaepernick would’ve been the best backup Seattle could hope for. From that perspective, failing to offer him a job doesn’t make sense. But there were concerns about escalating the tension that some felt with regard to the franchise quarterback.”
So why did the Seahawks bring Kaepernick in for a meeting if the chances were minimal that the team would sign the quarterback? Carroll believed that the Seahawks could potentially serve as a catalyst for Kaepernick landing a job elsewhere.
“Pete also thought working out Kaepernick would make it easier for him to get workouts elsewhere,” O’Neil continued. “That other teams would see there weren’t crowds protesting or live television coverage. I think Pete believed it would provide a bit of a boost for Kaepernick’s job prospects.”