Colin Kaepernick’s potential return to the NFL has started to gain some steam. The Los Angeles Chargers have made their interest known and there are other teams who could enter the running. The Las Vegas Raiders are pretty set at quarterback for 2020 but even they could take a look at him it appears.
Over the last few years, there were times when the team could’ve used an upgrade at backup quarterback but didn’t appear to take a serious look at Kaepernick. However, Raiders owner Mark Davis claims that he’s been open to the idea of signing the quarterback for a while.
“Since 2017, I’ve told the coaches and general managers that if they want to hire Colin Kaepernick, they have my blessing,” Davis said, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.
Just spoke w/#Raiders owner Mark Davis, who said team employees have a “company-paid day off on Juneteenth.” Also asked about @Kaepernick7, Davis said, “Since 2017, I’ve told the coaches and general managers that if they want to hire Colin Kaepernick, they have my blessing.”
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) June 17, 2020
Starting quarterback Derek Carr got banged up a little bit in 2017 and the Raiders could’ve looked at Kaepernick then. Other than that, Carr has stayed pretty healthy and while they haven’t always had the best backup situation, it’s hard to know if they ever took a serious look at Kaepernick.
Raiders Not Among Teams That Could Target QB, Says Analyst
Kaepernick has his best shot of making an NFL roster in a while. That said, it likely won’t be with the Raiders. In his list of fits for the quarterback, Mike Sando of The Athletic named Las Vegas among the teams that don’t need Kaepernick:
Marcus Mariota is backing up Derek Carr. The Raiders seem set at quarterback for this season unless they dump Carr and his $18.9 million salary, install Mariota as the starter and then seek a backup, which seems unlikely.
Sando didn’t mention Nathan Peterman, who head coach Jon Gruden thinks he can fix. Mariota is getting paid big money for a backup quarterback. Unless Kaepernick was willing to take a massive pay cut, it’s very hard to imagine the Raiders could fit him into the quarterback room.
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Is Carr a Dark-Horse MVP Candidate?
There are those who have soured on Carr’s ability to be a franchise quarterback. In fact, NBC’s Chris Simms ranked Carr as the 19th best quarterback in the NFL. That’s very low considering he was easily a top-10 quarterback just a few years ago.
In 2020, he should have the most offensive talent he’s ever had surrounding him. He’s got a great offensive line, a first-round wide receiver and some serious playmakers. NFL.com even listed him among dark-horse MVP candidates. It may be a stretch to think he could improve that much this season but it’s also unfair to suggest he’s a bad quarterback.
Carr has lacked consistency in the coaching staff and on the roster throughout his career. 2020 will be the first time he’s spent three seasons in the same offense. It looks like all the stars are aligning for him to prove once again that he’s the Raiders’ quarterback of the future. It was supposed to happen last year with Antonio Brown but hopefully, his return to MVP form was just delayed a year.