If the Miami Dolphins' season began today and Ryan Tannehill quickly reinjured the knee that has kept him from taking a snap since September 2016, he'd be replaced by former 2016 seventh-round pick Brandon Doughty. Longtime backup Matt Moore probably won't return, so Doughty is the fallback at this point, even though an obviously much better option sits unsigned and waiting for Miami's call.
All the best young quarterbacks will be long gone by the time the Fins draft at 11th overall in next month's NFL Draft, and all the best veteran backup quarterbacks have signed with teams already. That would seem a suboptimal scenario for a team that has shown it wants to retool rather than totally tear down and rebuild. One Tannehill misstep would double-flush this entire season down the toilet.
That's why the Dolphins should already be on the phone with Colin Kaepernick to get him on a plane to Miami for a workout. He's the best option available to back up Tannehill.
Word on the street is the Dolphins are so desperate for a Tannehill backup that they had planned to entertain the notion of bringing back former Fins quarterback Chad Henne before he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Friday, because apparently Dolphins fans haven't suffered enough and the team needs to create new and exciting ways to torture them.
The fact that the Dolphins are scraping this deep in the bottom of the available quarterback barrel makes us wonder: Why aren't they giving Kaepernick a look? Just kidding: We know why. It's because he has political beliefs unpopular with some people. And it's exactly why Kaepernick is in the midst of a collusion lawsuit against the NFL.
It's truly embarrassing for the NFL, and the Dolphins individually, that Kaepernick — a young, strong, and mobile quarterback who led a team to the Super Bowl only a few years ago — doesn't get as much as a workout or a phone call while a guy like Mike Glennon gets an $8 million deal in an offseason after the Bears gave him $18.5 million to win one game and get benched for a rookie. Henne has thrown only a few passes in the past couple years, yet teams are fighting for his services. How does any of this make sense?
In 2016, Kaepernick played in 12 games for the 49ers and finished the season with 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also rushed for 468 yards. If not for taking a knee during the National Anthem, he'd likely cost a team at least twice what Glennon just received for playing like a CFL quarterback last season. Enough is enough: Give Kaepernick a chance. No matter your beliefs, it's time.
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The Dolphins, who claim they are trying to fix their culture, can't possibly make the argument that Kaepernick would be detrimental to that plan. Few people have done as much good off the field as Kaepernick. Few people would have handled being blackballed by the NFL with the sort of class that Kaepernick has shown. The biggest issue people have with him is that he used his platform for a silent protest. That's it. Yet throughout the NFL, teams have no problem employing players with drug convictions, domestic violence arrests, and other criminal behavior. Contrary to what a minority of fans believe, the majority of players love Kaepernick. Signing him would be an instant signal that Miami is turning a page.
Kaepernick would likely be interested in Miami because the fragile health of Tannehill creates a possible future opportunity to play. Head coach Adam Gase once
Even if the Fins are looking to draft a quarterback next month, their roster construction and history tell you the last thing they're interested in is handing the keys to a rookie. Kaepernick could be an inexpensive emergency backup for Tannehill and a bridge to the future if the team wants to protect a rookie.
Stephen Ross and the Dolphins should take a stand and give Kaepernick a chance.