The Providence Journal’s Mark J Daniels conducted an interesting poll on his Twitter account. The New England Patriots’ reporter asked the team’s fanbase would they be in favor of signing blackballed free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In light of the current climate and civil unrest in the country connected to the institutional racism and police brutality toward African Americans and people of color in the United States, causes Kaepernick protested with his kneeling gesture back in 2016, the poll has some added punch.
Here’s what the results were after 24 hours and almost 14,000 votes.
The Patriots-Kaepernick Poll Results Specifics
The results say 52 percent of the people polled in Daniels’ post would be in favor of the Patriots signing Kaepernick to a free-agent deal, which obviously means 48 percent are against it.
Honest question: Would you be in favor of the Patriots bringing in Colin Kaepernick to compete at quarterback this summer?
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) June 2, 2020
As you might expect, the comment section was packed with views from all over the board. You can find comments purely related football concepts, obvious racial undertones, and more overt hate speech or support for Kaepernick as a man and player.
What the Patriots Signing Kaepernick Would Mean
Jarrett Stidham has been positioned as the man to succeed Tom Brady as the next Patriots quarterback. The 2019 fourth-round pick hasn’t had much of a chance to prove he is or isn’t worthy of the opportunity. If the Patriots signed Kaepernick, he likely stands to be the most affected.
At best, Stidham would be in a three-way contest to be named the starter during preseason, and if he were to be deemed the winner of the QB competition, there is a division of the Patriots fanbase that probably wouldn’t like him going in over Kaepernick.
Brian Hoyer was signed as a backup plan in the event Stidham isn’t ready to take the reins. Kaepernick’s presence could give him another player he’d be charged with sharing the details of the Patriots offense, considering he is the most acquainted with the system of any quarterback on the roster.
Undrafted free agents Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith could find themselves off the roster completely. With Stidham, Hoyer, and Kaepernick, it would be hard to justify keeping one of the rookies, let alone both of them. A young QB and two veterans is likely more than enough for the Patriots roster.
Why it is Highly Unlikely the Patriots Will Sign Kaepernick
Signing Kaepernick would effectively restructure the entire plan for moving into the future. The Patriots have cinched all of their wagons to Stidham, and if he doesn’t pan out, the team will probably be looking for a young QB in the next draft.
Adding Kaepernick requires him to become a major focus on what a team is doing from Day 1. The Patriots have never been a shift-on-a-dime sort of an organization.
The Patriots have also never been the kind of franchise that welcomes the kind of attention that would come with a Kaepernick signing. The number of media, protests and support for Kaepernick would be unlike anything the NFL has ever seen, especially considering the times we are currently living in today.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has never given off the impression that he would sign off on such a thing, even if it is the best thing for his team on the field, in the locker room, and in the court of public opinion.