Anybody who knows Pro Football Talk knows that, at least since his inability to find another job in the NFL, Mike Florio has been a consistent spokesperson for the viability of employment of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
A former second-round pick who helped take the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, his talents were unable to stave off disaster as the team fell off a cliff over his last two seasons, which included a 1-10 record in 2016, the last year in which he played, even if his individual numbers might suggest better.
After seemingly every injury to a quarterback, Florio has written an article about how the NFL continues to blackball Kaepernick from reasonably seeking employment—and to the credit of that argument, he did win a grievance against the NFL already—but the latest tilt at the windmill unfairly comes at the expense of Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges.
“On Sunday night, an undrafted rookie from an FCS school may be playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers”, he writes. “Colin Kaepernick may be watching the game on TV. And, yes, something continues to be very wrong with that picture”.
I am not going to link to the article because, as I said on Twitter, I considered it a waste of time to do so, but it’s easy enough to find, titled, The blatant blackballing of Colin Kaepernick continues. Throughout the piece, he essentially diminishes the worthiness of Hodges to have an opportunity to start a game relative to that of Kaepernick.
He argues that while Kaepernick and Eric Reid have already won a grievance for collusion of employment opportunity against the league’s franchises, that doesn’t mean the collusion isn’t still going on. “Exhibit A for that claim could be the fact that a quarterback from Samford started a prime-time game in 2019”.
I’m not going to go into detail on the more ridiculous aspects of these statements, but the simple fact of the matter is that it would be entirely impractical to sign Kaepernick, right now, off the street to start one game.
Hodges is in a position to start only because Mason Rudolph is going through the concussion protocol, and frankly we are not even 100 percent sure today that he won’t play. Chances are he won’t start, but he may clear the protocol and be able to dress.
With the Steelers having a bye week to follow, it would appear to be a huge upset if Rudolph isn’t starting the next game after this. So what use would it serve to sign Kaepernick at that point, when the team justifiably is looking to study Rudolph this year, pertaining to his future viability as a long-term starter?
We’re not talking about a long, protracted injury for the second-year quarterback, whom the Steelers talked openly about viewing as a potential heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger. This is literally, most likely, a one-game scenario.
Nevermind the fact that Kaepernick hasn’t played since 2016, doesn’t know the offense, and all of the other practical matters pertaining to the absurdity of criticizing the Steelers for being willing to start Hodges on Sunday and not running out and getting him. The simple fact alone of the timeline involved here makes the idea ridiculous.