Colin Kaepernick Should Be on NFL Roster, According to 95% of Players Surveyed

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2019

Former NFL football quarterback Colin Kaepernick applauds while seated on stage during W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremonies, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. Kaepernick is among eight recipients of Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Medals in 2018. Harvard has awarded the medal since 2000 to people whose work has contributed to African and African-American culture.(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Based on a poll conducted by The Athletic, an overwhelming majority of NFL defensive players believe quarterback Colin Kaepernick should be on an NFL team.

The Athletic polled 85 defensive players from 25 different NFL teams, and 95 percent of them said they feel Kaepernick belongs on an NFL squad.

Of the 85 players who voted, only two said he should not be on an NFL roster, and two responded by saying, "No comment."

Kaepernick has gone unsigned the past two seasons and hasn't played in the NFL since his time with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

The 31-year-old veteran has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging that teams have "blackballed" him from the league based on his decision to protest social injustice and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem.

Players were also asked to name an NFL quarterback whom Kaepernick should replace.

Jacksonville Jaguars signal-caller Blake Bortles was the top choice at 20 percent, and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman was second with 18 percent of the vote.

Several other quarterbacks received at least one vote, including Eli Manning of the New York Giants and Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

One player said he would replace "25 percent of the league" with Kaepernick.

Another player expressed his belief that there should be plenty of opportunities for Kaepernick to be part of an NFL roster regardless of his role: "S--t, any team that carries three quarterbacks for sure, the third guy on that roster. And a majority of the teams with two quarterbacks, he should be the backup. And some places he should be the starter."

In his most recent NFL action, Kaepernick appeared in 12 games (11 starts) for the Niners in 2016.

Although he went just 1-10 as a starter, he threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 468 yards and two additional scores.

For his career, Kaepernick is 28-30 as a starter with a completion percentage of 59.8 percent to go along with 72 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions. He has also rushed for 13 touchdowns.

Kaepernick has a 4-2 playoff record as well, and he led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII at the conclusion of the 2012 season, where they lost 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens.

Since parting ways with Kaepernick, the 49ers have gone 10-22 and started four different quarterbacks.

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