Colin Kaepernick to New England Patriots Speculation Is Flawed

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BOSTON (WEEI.com) -- As an avowed Colin Kaepernick apologist, few things would delight me more than seeing the quarterback suit up for the New England Patriots next season. But there’s a better chance Donald Trump asks for egg whites in his omelette. 

Over the weekend, Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, made some predictions about potential landing spots for his client, now that Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL is settled. Geragos mentioned the Carolina Panthers, who recently signed Eric Reid, a plaintiff alongside Kaepernick in the collusion lawsuit, to a new three-year deal. Starting quarterback Cam Newton could miss the entire season with a shoulder injury, opening up the possibility of Kaepernick starting right away. 

That makes lots of sense if Kaepernick is still interested in pursuing an NFL career. Geragos says “yes,” telling CNN this weekend Kaepernick is the “most fit vegan” he’s ever seen. (There was some speculation Kaepernick’s settlement agreement could preclude him from playing in the NFL again, but Geragos’ public stumping indicates that’s not the case.)

In addition to the Panthers, Geragos noted the Patriots could be interested in bringing aboard one of the most polarizing athletes in sports.

“Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft makes a move,” Geragos said on CNN. “That would not surprise me.”

Cris Carter also floated the Patriots as a possibility for Kaepernick, mentioning the Krafts are "very fond" of the blackballed QB. 

As WEEI’s Ryan Hannable notes, Geragos has referenced the Patriots in connection to Kaepernick before. Last September, Geragos blurted to TMZ that Kraft visited rapper Meek Mill in prison and Meek was working on a song about Kaepernick, so … 

Kaepernick was close to signing the Patriots? Who knows? Geragos said there would be some news the following week, but there wasn’t. It’s almost like he was speaking extemporaneously to pump up his client or something.

If you ignore the football team entirely, and just focus on Kraft, then Kaepernick hooking up with the Patriots doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Though Kraft remains tight with Trump – he told Fox News recently the president is doing “what’s best for the country” – he’s not afraid to rebuke his longtime pal. In an owners’ meeting last year, Kraft called Trump’s dog whistling over the kneeling issue “divisive” and “horrible,” per audio leaked to the New York Times. 

Trump didn’t admonish Kraft publicly, signaling he views him as a superior rather than subordinate. It’s the kind of respect a real billionaire can garner from a poser. 

The Patriots would also be well-equipped to handle any temporary media maelstrom that Kaepernick’s presence could create. Tim Tebow spent a training camp in Foxboro and only stood out when he was firing balls into the dirt in preseason games. 

Unfortunately for Geragos’ fantasy, Tom Brady remains entrenched under center. He is definitely starting this season, and since there isn’t an heir apparent in sight, he’s the favorite to start in 2020, too. Even if the Patriots select a quarterback early in the NFL Draft, the rookie's base salary would be nominal compared to Kaepernick’s likely asking price. 

Also, replacing Brady with a quarterback in his 30s would be an odd move. Kaepernick is 31 years old now, meaning he could be 33 or 34 before Brady walks away. 

Kaepernick makes no sense for the Patriots as a possible Brady replacement. Bill Belichick has been known to buck conventional wisdom, but it’s hard to imagine Kaepernick supplanting system veteran Brian Hoyer as Brady’s clipboard holder. 

From Kaepernick’s side, signing with the Patriots makes little sense, too, assuming other teams are interested. He’s already sat for two seasons. Why agree to sit more?

The Kaepernick-to-New England fantasy may persist on TMZ and FS1 studio shows over the next several weeks. But it won’t travel any further. Oh well. 

By Alex Reimer