Should the Philadelphia Eagles sign Colin Kaepernick?

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

If Carson Wentz does miss the remainder of the season with an alleged ACL injury, should the Philadelphia Eagles consider signing Colin Kaepernick?

The Philadelphia Eagles are in a tough spot.

On one hand, the team defeated the Los Angeles Ram, arguably one of the best teams in the league in impressive fashion and officially locked up their spot as the winners of the NFC East. But that victory came at an incredibly high cost, with ESPN reporting that Carson Wentz may have torn his ACL in the back half of the game, an injury that would cost him the rest of the season, and all of the playoffs.

Even though in his post-game press conference head coach Doug Pederson said that he is completely happy with his team’s quarterbacks room, speculation will surely become more vocal in the coming weeks, especially if they were to lose a game behind seasoned backup Nick Foles, that the Eagles should sign arguably the leagues most polarizing player, former San Francisco 49rs quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and that’s understandable.

Now I know his very name will immediately spark a charged reaction in virtually anyone, regardless of party or team affiliation, but from a pure football standpoint does the addition of GQ’s Citizen of the Year actually make any sense for the team?

In short, yes, yes it does.

Like it or not, Kaepernick is one of the 40 best quarterbacks in the NFL, finishing last season with the 26th best completion percentage, the 17th best quarterback rating, and a solid 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. While not the most conventional passer in league history, Kaep posses one of the more unique skillsets in the league and could open up Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich‘s playbook in a way that current presumed starter Nick Foles simply can’t.

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The Eagles have leaned on rolling out their starting quarterback extensively this season, and have been the beneficiaries of Wentz’ uncanny ability to make something out of nothing when most other players would be surely sacked. Without Wentz’ incredibly essential third-down completion to Nelson Agholor in the victory over the Rams, we may not be speaking about a victory at all. In Kaepernick, the Eagles would still be able to utilize these bootleg and option plays, while hopefully still being able to trust their quarterback to make something happen if a play simply isn’t there.

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While Kaepernick does fit the Eagles offense fairly well, especially with starting left tackle Jason Peters and starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski potentially out for the considerable future, would he be able to assimilate into the team’s culture?

Again, while there is no way of knowing for sure, it seems like he very well could and should be able to fit in just fine.

The Eagles have collectively been one of the most socially conscious teams in the entire league, with players like Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Chris Long all exercising their rights to protest throughout much of the season. Jenkins, the co-founder of the NFL Players Coalition, was recently rewarded with, according to ESPN, “a contribution of $89 million over seven years to projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.” While Kaep and Jenkins have chosen to go about raising awareness for social issues in very different ways, the pair has proven that they both have strong convictions, and shouldn’t have any issue coexisting on the same roster.

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In addition to Jenkins, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, one of the most progressive owners in the league, has stated that while he doesn’t necessarily agree with players protesting the National Anthem, he does stand by his players when they are trying to make a positive contribution to their communities, and isn’t outright against signing the former 49er.

But will the Eagles sign Kaepernick?

Honestly, probably not, but they should. The inevitable media frenzy that will engulf wherever Kaep signs next is without a doubt a deal breaker for a number of teams, but from a pure football perspective, there is absolutely no reason that the former second-round pick signal caller shouldn’t be in the league. With quarterbacks like Tom Savage, Nate Peterman, and Blaine Gabbert all recording starts in Week 14 of the NFL season, Kaepernick should not be sitting at home.

The Eagles have already proven that they are willing to bring in veterans to bolster positions of need midseason, like they have so far this season with the additions of Will Beatty, Jay Ajayi, and Dannell Ellerbe, so adding a player of Kaepernick’s talent level, even to serve as a backup, could pay dividends down the stretch.

Foles is one of the leagues best backup quarterbacks, a fringe starter who’s 27-2 season in Philly will not soon be forgot, but if he were to go down or struggle mightily as a starter, the Eagles would then be forced to turn to second-year signal caller Nate Stuffield, a player who hasn’t appeared in a single NFL game, and actually spent the first half of the season on the Eagles practice squad.

Next: Is the Eagles season over if Carson Wentz tore his ACL?

If Wentz does end up on IR, an outcome that appears more and more likely with each passing minute, the Eagles should think long and hard about adding Kaepernick to their roster as the playoffs loom, as their season may very well hang in the balance.