Vikings

Could Colin Kaepernick Become the Vikings’ QB2?

Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports

Backup quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond reportedly left a lot to be desired during Monday’s night practice in front of 7,000 fans at TCO Performance Center.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert threw gasoline on the backup quarterback campside fire on Thursday morning when he went on KFAN and reported, My understanding is that internally [the Vikings] are very open to the possibility that the backup quarterback isn’t on the roster. There are two factors there: How do these guys [Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion] perform and who’s potentially available.

All eyes will be on Mannion and Mond on Sunday afternoon when the Vikings open up the 2022 preseason against the Las Vegas Raiders inside Allegiant Stadium.

If last season’s Week 17 primetime affair at Lambeau Field was any indication, the Vikings are in serious need of a boost at their QB2 spot behind Kirk Cousins. But who could Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings’ front office identify as a potential solution to keep the ship afloat in the event that Cousins is forced to miss time?

Back in May, the first-year general manager had some glowing remarks over a particular quarterback that is in search of a job at the moment: Colin Kaepernick.

I can only talk about my time in the building with him. And I can tell you that I remember we played on the road at Green Bay my first year there, and it was unbelievably cold. And it’s pregame warmups and he comes out for the huddle and he flips off the jacket, short sleeves. And I remember turning to whoever I was with and I was like, ‘We’re winning this game.’ And you talk about leadership and following somebody through something, that’s where it stamped to me who he was.

Later Mike Florio asked Adofo-Mensah, Have you considered bringing him in for a tryout, possibly offering him a contract to continue his career his Minnesota?”

Adofo-Mensah’s response:

So when we do player evaluations, I’d say it’s exhaustive. So we consider everything. Again I don’t want to name specific players but we do an exhaustive approach to it. If you’re not considering all the options out there — especially at a position like that — you’re probably doing it wrong. So we have ongoing conversations all the time. And, again, I don’t want to be specific about whether it was him or anybody else. But that’s our job in personnel, to be open-minded and creative in solutions and we’ll continue to do so.

Sure sounds like the Vikings’ new leader of the front office hasn’t ruled out a reunion of sorts with his former quarterback during their time together in San Francisco from 2013-16.

Regardless of how you feel about the quarterback-turned-activist, it’s tough to argue that the Vikings could find someone off the street who’s more accomplished than Kaepernick. Yes, he will be turning 35 in November, but that hasn’t prevented other quarterbacks who are both older and have fewer career starts from landing QB2 jobs in the NFL.

And since we’re on the topic of Kaepernick’s activism, let’s revisit his initial response to why he decided to take a knee during the national anthem back in August 2016.

Here in the Twin Cities, this came just weeks after Philando Castile was fatally shot by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016.

And with George Floyd being murdered by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020 in South Minneapolis, Kaepernick’s cause certainly hits close to home here in Minnesota — and throughout the country as well.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say back in June of 2020.

We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black lives matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.

If the NFL openly admitted to being wrong about not listening to NFL players earlier — such as Kaepernick in 2016 — why isn’t the former 2012 NFC Champion quarterback competing for a backup role in the league right now?

Since his ongoing battle with the NFL, Kaepernick has made his intentions clear. He wants to play.

As it stands now, there are six current QB2s in the NFL who are older than Kaepernick (35 this November).

Furthermore, there are only four QB2s today who have recorded more regular-season starts throughout their careers than Kaepernick’s 58 starts.

Kaepernick is just one year older than backup quarterback Nick Foles — while having recorded more starts than Foles.

Kaepernick is two years older than Tyrod Taylor — with more starts under his belt than Taylor.

Kaepernick is the same age as Andy Dalton — with a far more decorated career than the journeyman signal-caller.

Anyone who’s still holding onto the commonly recycled excuse that Kaepernick is too old or too inexperienced to be a backup quarterback in the NFL today has to look around the league.

It’s a pretty tough argument to make that Kaepernick is no longer among the best 64 quarterbacks on planet Earth. And with Adofo-Mensah’s history with Kaepernick in San Francisco, he most definitely should be near or at the top of the Vikings’ list of potential QB2s, should they determine that Mannion and Mond aren’t up for the job.

And if the thought of Kaepernick backing up Cousins in 2022 still triggers you? You’re probably still part of the problem.

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