Niners Live presents: Why some fans wanted to see a Colin Kaepernick vs. Brian Hoyer battle.
When head coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch met with current unrestricted free agent Colin Kaepernick prior to the start of free agency, both sides left feeling good and excited that it was all positive, so says Lynch: “I would characterize [it] as just a really positive discussion,” Lynch said. “I think from the start, Kyle and I have committed. I was a player once and you just want to be honest, you want people to be honest with you. We had a great discussion,” Lynch said. “And Colin left excited, we left excited. and I think as Kyle and I really believe, the evaluation is still very much fluid” (Via ESPN.com).
So much so it gave some 49er/Kap fans a glimpse of hope and possibilities of Kaepernick finding his way back to the top of the mountain. This is something Niners Live saw right before it unfolded when we dropped our bold and beautiful featured article of the week: Why Fans Want to See Kyle Shanahan Work His Magic on Colin Kaepernick. But guess what? Kaepernick ended up opting out, and the 49ers signed Mr. I know Kyle Shanahan’s offense quarterback Brian Hoyer, and you know what, Niners Live wasn’t surprised when that took place either. In fact, we saw it as an obvious option base on Shanahan’s comfort tendencies, so to speak.
However, there has still been a lot of chatter, speculation, theories and more amongst some of the 49er fan base and media as to why Kaepernick wasn’t given a chance to compete on a restructured contract that was team friendly or incentive based that would be beneficial to both sides.
Recently, Matt Maiocco took a temperature poll on Kaepernick’s free agent status:
Poll result: 88% of the 3,158 responders believe Colin Kaepernick ranks as an NFL starting or backup QB. https://t.co/UX3T1yq0mh
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) March 13, 2017
Where does Colin Kaepernick rank among NFL quarterbacks?
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) March 11, 2017
He wasn’t the only media correspondent that was curious or baffled as to why Kaepernick was a free agent, or at least not given the chance to compete. Take Omar Kelly, full-time beat writer and columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, he had some interesting words to say regarding Colin Kaepernick:
“Let me not mock Brock. After all, the QB I love (Colin Kaepernick) can’t even find work. Nobody wants a political QB I guess. (Hold that thought we’ll reconnect in just a second, Niners Live style).
The 49ers Did What?
What they did, was sign another quarterback after Hoyer. If you haven’t heard of him, his name is Mr. I’m not a threat to challenge Hoyer for the starting position Matt Barkley. Before we break down these quarterbacks, does Eric Branch see things the same way?
Matt Barkley threw 10 INTs in his last three starts in 2016.
Perspective: Colin Kaepernick has thrown 9 INTs in his last 22 starts.#49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) March 10, 2017
QBs who threw 5+ INTs in a game in 2016:
Ryan Fitzpatrick (6)
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) March 10, 2017
Of the 63 QBs who have thrown 250 passes since 2013, Matt Barkley's 63.7 passer rating ranks … 63rd. #49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) March 10, 2017
Now it’s the new regime’s prerogative to do what they want to do. Not trying to go Bobby Brown on you, but you get where this writer is coming from. It’s their right to clean house and go in a new direction as they see fit without the drama, politics, and potential limitations as far as fitting into Shanahan’s scheme, etc. However, with that being said, who’s the more accomplished quarterback? Who’s taken the 49ers to the playoffs, championship games and a Super Bowl? Kaepernick, that’s who. And for more breakdown, accolades, and past/recent stats on Colin Kaepernick and also, coming from an interpersonal/outside the box perspective, check out Niners Live’s recent featured article: Why Colin Kaepernick Deserves Some Respect On His Name.
Who are Kaepernick’s replacements?
Brian Hoyer (6’3”, 215 lbs.) became the 1st quarterback on the 49ers new roster of the 2017 season. Hoyer signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the 49ers, with $9.85 million of the contract fully guaranteed at signing. Hoyer can earn $400,000 per year in per game active bonuses. Incentives can increase the contract value to a maximum of $18.5 million. If Hoyer is named the starter, he will earn $9 million a year which will rank him as the 28th highest paid of 81 quarterbacks (overthecap.com).
Brian Hoyer: “That was big selling point. (#49ers) didn’t have any QBs and I was the guy they wanted to have Day 1.”
Hoyer (31), is entering his ninth season in the NFL and the 49ers will be the sixth team of his career. He has played a total of 49 games where he threw for 8,608 yards, ran for 44 touchdowns and intercepted 26 times for a completion percentage of 59.5 percent on 1,199 career pass attempts. Hoyer has a winning record with 16 wins and 15 losses. However, he never started a full season in his career. Hoyer did perform somewhat decently in his five brief starts by completing 134 passes on 200 attempts for 1,445 yards, which came out to average 240.8 yards a game while completing 67.0 percent of his passes and six touchdowns with zero interceptions. His QB rating? 98.0 is good, right? Well, in the end, the NFL initials stand for “not for long. ” Hoyer went 1-4 as a starter, and like most of his previous seasons, would later come to a short end by way of injury from suffering a broken forearm. Later he was placed on (IR) injured reserve (Foxsports.com).
Next up, Mr. Inconsistent Matt Barkley:
Next, we have the second quarterback for the 49ers in Chicago Bears Matt Barkley. Standing at 6’ 3”, 227 lbs., Barkley is entering his fourth season with four different teams. Last season he started six games with the Bears following a broken arm as aforementioned by once incumbent starter Brian Hoyer. Barkley went 1-5 with 129 completions out of 216 attempts for 1,611 yards and a 59.8 percent passing percentage. He’s thrown eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his career. Even though he is still young at 26, the 49ers signed Barkley for a two-year, $4 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $500,000 signing bonus, $500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $2 million. In 2017, Barkley will earn a base salary of $1.4 million, a signing bonus of $500,000, a roster bonus of $218,750 and a workout bonus of $50,000. Barkley has a cap hit of $1,918,750, while his dead money value is $500,000 (Spotrac.com).
Now I leave you simply with this:
Operation theory here: what was the real reason Colin Kaepernick wasn’t allowed to compete against the quarterbacks that were aforementioned? There’s been a growing chatter amongst the realistic cracks of the eyes wide open folks. If you will, consider this perspective: If Kap were to come in and beat out the coach’s favorite, Hoyer, it would be bad for business, but how so? Kap, like him or not, is and would be the most popular player on the team and in the locker room (see Len Eshmont award via CBSsports.com). And wait for it, even more popular than Kyle Shanahan who reportedly has a huge ego and is a control freak (via Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com, CBSsports.com). If Kap’s unorthodox style, delivery of the football, and the dual-threat play won the starting quarterback job, Kaepernick would be a full blown rock star yet again. Therefore, his Kapernicking swag couldn’t be tamed by the Hoyer’s and Barkley’s of the world. It’s that personality/style that doesn’t mesh well with Shanahan’s personality.
Also, adding fuel to the fire, Kaepernick’s protest obviously didn’t help his cause to be retained by the team, which indeed, can’t be overlooked as an added factor. Did anyone notice how two of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters and leaders on the team were released? The first was Torrey Smith, who approved of Kaepernick — whom he called “a legend” — because the QB “Pushed race and social issues to the front and inspired more folks to say and do something.” (Mercurynews.com).
After Smith was released, General Manger John Lynch had this to say as seen below. Don’t think there’s a connection, do you?
John Lynch says Torrey Smith is "a wonderful example of how professional athletes can use their platform to make a difference …" #49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) March 7, 2017
And the next player to be released? You guessed it, Antoine Bethea.
Antoine Bethea & Eli Harold ✊🏾✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/iWeGHLfAD7
— Angry Man (@AngryBlkManDC) September 13, 2016
If you’ve read this article so far and your mind is wondering or having any doubt if the lack of interest to bring Kaepernick back on a team friendly deal to compete with Hoyer for the starting quarterback position was strictly a football decision, you may not be alone (pure speculation of course) and thank you for tuning into Niners Live, the home of the Fan and the Brave…. Are your eyes wide open?
As always: keep your eyes wide open, 49er fans. Niners Live will be watching with you. #eyeswideopen and often imitated but never duplicated… Go Niners.
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