Despite Derek Carr getting a three-year contract extension this offseason, Colin Kaepernick is the most talked-about quarterback involved with the Las Vegas Raiders right now. The former San Francisco 49ers starter recently worked out with the team, which quickly became one of the big news stories of the offseason. Kaepernick hasn’t been on an NFL roster since the 2016 season but remains a big name.
The Raiders didn’t bring in Kaepernick because they’re in the market for a new starter. Carr is the starter going forward and there’s no question about it. That said, Kaepernick is much more popular than the average backup quarterback. While nobody thinks the Raiders are looking to replace Carr with Kaepernick, head coach Josh McDaniels made sure to let the world know where he stands with his current quarterback.
“I think Derek’s pretty comfortable where he’s at,” McDaniels said during recent availability to media. “He knows who he is for us. He knows how I feel about him and how we feel about him. I don’t think that’s really a big thing to Derek at this point. He knows this is his football team and he’s working like it on the field. He’s leading in the way that we want him to lead and he’s doing all the right things. I couldn’t ask for more from Derek Carr. I’m very pleased with what he’s doing so far.”
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Having a Capable Backup Is Important
Carr should feel very safe about his job right now. McDaniels has said nothing but good things about the quarterback and Kaepernick getting a workout is more about the team’s backups than it is about Carr. Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham have been in the NFL for multiple years but neither has ever been a full-time starter at the beginning of a season.
Kaepernick was a starter on a team that went to the Super Bowl. While McDaniels avoided talking about Kaepernick, he did touch on how important it is to have a backup who is ready to play.
“The next guy in line, you don’t really talk about him until he’s the most important guy in the organization when the starter gets hurt,” McDaniels said. “So, to try to constantly shuffle through and make sure that you’re doing the best you can to provide competition in that room and to have guys in there that can learn and play and produce in your system with the group that we have is really an important part of any football team. … There’s a bunch of young players in our system right now, so each day is an opportunity for them to grow. Derek’s been tremendous in terms of his ability to learn it and pick it up pretty quick.”
Looking Like Raiders Won’t Sign Kaepernick
It’s been days since the Raiders worked out Kaepernick and he remains unsigned. That’s not a great sign that the team is going to sign him. If a workout goes well, typically the players get signed quickly. Obviously, this is a unique situation with Kaepernick considering the media attention his name brings.
It’s hard to imagine the Raiders would even bring him in for a workout if the interest wasn’t genuine. While it’s appearing that Las Vegas won’t end up signing him, they did give him a good step in the right direction for a possible NFL return.