Cam Newton is now off the market, leaving NFL teams one less excuse for why Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed. By all indications, the blackballed quarterback still wants to play pro football.
Here are the best fits for the 32-year-old.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: He’d immediately have a chance to compete for a starting job with second-year sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew II, who struggled down the stretch as a rookie and might not be the real deal. It wouldn’t be an ideal market for him off the field, but this would give Kaep his best chance to start in 2020.
2. Baltimore Ravens: Kaepernick would be a perfect backup to Lamar Jackson. Current No. 2 Robert Griffin III has a similar playing style as well, but he hasn’t been effective since he was a rookie in 2012. That part of the country would also make a lot of sense for him off the field.
3. Seattle Seahawks: It would be a great fit for him with Pete Carroll in the Pacific Northwest, and he’d probably be a stronger No. 2 option than Geno Smith. This makes sense on and off the field.
4. Houston Texans: He’d also be a perfect backup to Deshaun Watson, and Houston is more progressive than most of Texas. The Texans have reportedly discussed going that route in the past, and he’d provide an obvious upgrade over AJ McCarron in the No. 2 spot.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers: He’d be a huge upgrade over Mason Rudolph if something were to happen to Ben Roethlisberger again. The Steelers need a boost beyond Big Ben on their quarterback depth chart.
6. Tennessee Titans: He’s quite simply a better option than current backup Logan Woodside, and starter Ryan Tannehill is no ironman.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: The Bolts already have Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert, but Kaepernick might be a better bridge option than the former, and he’d give the franchise a tremendous PR boost as it fights for love and attention in the L.A. market.
8. Los Angeles Rams: They’re also fighting for L.A. hearts, and the current backup is someone named John Wolford.
9. Carolina Panthers: They’ve seemingly embraced a more progressive approach under new owner David Tepper. Kyle Allen and Newton are gone, and Kaep would bring more experience than Will Grier to the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Teddy Bridgewater.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Kaepernick would be an upgrade over Brett Hundley behind Kyler Murray, who has a somewhat similar skillset.