The Chicago Bears and Colin Kaepernick. This is a subject a lot of people never thought would ever come up again. The last time it did was back in 2017. GM Ryan Pace and then head coach John Fox were looking to overhaul the quarterback position in free agency. Kaepernick had just become available after his final season with the San Francisco 49ers. Chicago though decided to sign Mike Glennon instead.
Pace admitted the team did look into Kaepernick. They decided that Glennon was a better fit for what they wanted to do. It’s likely Fox, being the mediaphobic coach he was, wanted no part of signing the controversial QB at that time.
“We looked at every single quarterback that was available. To us, it just came down to the skill sets we value. That was us personally evaluating his skill set.”
Besides, it became clear Pace already had plans to draft one a month later. Thus the Kaepernick buzz died away and hasn’t been heard from since. That is until this 2019 preseason.
Thus far through two games, the quarterback play for this Bears offense has been…subpar. Chase Daniel has continued to display shaky pocket presence which has led to five sacks in four quarters of play. Not to mention a fumble and a botched snap for a safety. These are problems that haunted him last year as well. Tyler Bray? He’s completed less than half his passes and won’t make the roster.
Let’s be real. The Bears aren’t likely to make a change at backup now, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Kaepernick is out there. So here’s the million-dollar question. What would they face, good or bad, by signing him?
Chicago Bears and Colin Kaepernick pros and cons
Talent – There is no denying the fact that Kaepernick has always been a gifted player. Not only is he tall with outstanding mobility (2,300 career rushing yards), he’s got a solid arm capable of making most of the throws in any playbook. Talent of his caliber isn’t often found at the backup position, so it’s hard to deny he’d be an upgrade over Daniel from that perspective.
Experience – Kaepernick played in 69 games in his NFL career. So many more than Daniel can boast. He also has considerable experience in the playoffs. He won four postseason games between 2012 and 2013 and came just yards from winning the Super Bowl if not for a controversial non-pass interference call. He knows how to perform when the stakes are raised.
Great fit for the system – Nagy runs the absolute perfect system to fit Kaepernick’s skill set. A spread-based offense that takes advantage of a mobile quarterback using lots of run-pass option mixed with West Coast offense tendencies. The quarterback ran this sort of stuff all the time in San Francisco and did it well.
Could draw immediate ire of the NFL – There is no proof that the NFL is actually blackballing Kaepernick, but it’s hard to deny the vast amount of circumstantial evidence. So many inferior quarterbacks keep getting work while he sits at home. It’s likely the Bears could get a lot of heat from the league if they moved forward with the idea of signing the 31-year old.
Media barrage would be immense – Kaepernick is a media lightning rod, even today. The amazing split on him between fans is immense. There are tons of supporters and tons of detractors. Every action the man takes draws lots of attention. The Bears would have to prepare themselves for a Category 5 media storm if they made that signing. Not something this franchise is normally fond of.
He’s been out of football for over two years – The last snap Kaepernick took in an NFL game was December of 2016. He’s now been out of football completely for over two years. He may insist he’s still ready but that’s a lot of time for a quarterback to be away from the grind of the game. Asking him to come in this close to the season with how complicated this offense is would be asking for headaches.