Ten teams that never should have passed on Colin KaepernickBy Buck StantonJune 05, 2014 10:16 pm EDT ??Yesterday, Colin Kaepernick agreed to a six-year, $126-million contract extension that included an NFL record $61 million guaranteed. Now, there are plenty of clauses in the deal that make it difficult for the 49ers quarterback to earn the entire amount. But one thing was made perfectly clear when he inked the deal: Kaepernick is an elite quarterback in the NFL.A team doesn’t make someone the second-highest paid signal caller in the league if he’s not in that category. They don’t give him more money than Super Bowl winners like Joe Flacco, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. The $126 million speaks volumes.Kaepernick is in that class because the 49ers know what they have in him; and they know how hard it would be to replace him. In a league where having a star quarterback is by far the most-important ingredient to building a winner, holding onto one when you have one is crucial.It also suggests that a lot of teams have to be kicking themselves, as they watch Kaepernick develop into a star. During the 2011 NFL Draft, nearly every team in the league passed on the Nevada quarterback; as a result, he fell to the second round, going 36th overall. That means the teams that are currently starved for a quarterback could have had one; they whiffed on their chance to land Kaepernick at least once.But not every team missed as bad as some. For a few franchises, the error was simply egregious.With that in mind, here are the 10 teams that never should have passed on Colin Kaepernick:10. Minnesota VikingsThe Vikings chose Ponder over KaepernickWith the 12th overall pick in 2011, the Vikings reached for a quarterback, taking Christian Ponder out of Florida State. That has turned out to be the disaster many people predicted, as Minnesota has been looking for Ponder’s replacement seemingly ever since. For now, they’ve moved on to Teddy Bridgewater as the quarterback of the future. Time will tell if they finally found an answer.9. Houston TexansThis is what’s in the Texans cupboardThe Texans only had one selection before Kaepernick was taken, and they drafted J.J. Watt at No. 11. So it’s hard to fault them on that pick. But they also thought Matt Schaub was the long-term answer at quarterback, so they weren’t even looking in that direction. Now that they are stuck with T.J. Yates, Case Keenum and whoever else might take snaps this season in Houston, that seems like a major miscalculation.8. Tennessee TitansLocker can’t stay healthy in TennesseeThe Titans invested a high draft choice, No. 8 overall, in the quarterback position in 2011, selecting Washington’s Jake Locker. In the time since, they’ve also invested a lot of time and money into trying to turn him into a franchise quarterback; the jury is still out on whether or not that’s possible. He can’t seem to stay healthy, leaving the Titans with the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick over the years under center, who wasn’t great when he was on the field.7. Denver BroncosThe Broncos had this trio before Manning arrivedThis may sound crazy, given that the Broncos currently have Peyton Manning running the show. But that’s a short-term fix, one that was necessary because Denver traded the 36th pick to San Francisco, which wound up being Kaepernick. As a result, the Broncos were forced to live through the Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow years, only escaping when they were lucky enough to lure Manning to town when he became a once-in-a-lifetime free agent.6. Oakland RaidersPryor is just one of the disastrous QBs in OaklandTechnically, the Raiders didn’t pass on Kaepernick, as they didn’t have a selection until No. 48 in 2011. But there were certainly plenty of opportunities to trade up into the top 35; and the price wouldn’t have been that expensive. Instead, Oakland suffered through the Terrelle Pryor experiment, as well as the Matt McGloin era. And now, the Silver and Black have to put their faith in Matt Schaub, a guy who washed out in Houston.5. Arizona CardinalsKevin Kolb was a painful experiment in ArizonaSure, it may seem a little harsh to pick on the Cardinals, given that they went out and signed Carson Palmer as a free agent, a moved that helped Arizona turn into a 10-win team in 2013 and make them a genuine playoff contender this year. But Palmer is a stopgap answer; he’s not the future in the Valley of the Sun. Kaepernick could have been the QB for a decade. Instead, the Cardinals have to face him twice per year.4. Kansas City ChiefsThe Chiefs weren’t thinking QB after giving big money to CasselIronically, the Chiefs are about to give big money to the guy Kaepernick replaced in San Francisco, as Alex Smith’s contract negotiations loom. There’s no doubt that they’d rather be giving big money to Kaepernick instead of Smith. And there’s also little debate that they would have preferred to not give Matt Cassel a huge contract in 2009, which prevented them from thinking about drafting a quarterback for a couple of seasons.3. Jacksonville JaguarsThe Jags went with Gabbert over KaepernickJacksonville went into the 2011 NFL Draft looking to address the quarterback position, so their head was in the right place. They just made the wrong selection, grabbing Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert with the No. 10 pick. That move turned out to be a disaster, as Gabbert has already flamed out, forcing the Jaguars to go searching for a QB again this year when they took Blake Bortles with the third-overall pick. Kaepernick would have been the answer.2. Cleveland BrownsBrandon Weeden and Company have been awful in ClevelandPerhaps the Browns finally righted the wrong, taking Johnny Manziel in the 2014 NFL Draft as their quarterback of the future. But they could have moved the process up by three years had they made the same move in 2011 with Kaepernick. Instead, they took Phil Taylor, a defensive tackle out of Baylor. And they’ve been saddled with the likes of Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell under center in the years since.1. Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike Glennon shows how important a QB can beWith the 20th overall pick in 2011, the Bucs took Adrian Clayborn, a defensive end out of Iowa. But keep in mind, they thought they had their quarterback of the future already on the roster, as Josh Freeman was just about to enter his third season. In hindsight, however, given that Freeman’s career has gone up in smoke, they should have had their eye on Kaepernick. Instead, they’re stuck with Mike Glennon and newly signed Josh McCown.***Buck Stanton is a former agent and current sports business writerlink
Not sure who ” Buck Stanton ” is, but he’s the kind of cowardly back seat, Monday morning QB type of writer who sucks. It’s creating writing 101, with a dash of, nothing new here, and a splash if, who didn’t know that?It's like listing the top 500 millionaires in 1990 that didn't purchase Home Shopping stock. 1. All of them. 2. who cares?
Love these hindsight articles. Shoulda, coulda, woulda…I also love how we're "stuck with Glennon." He was a third round pick...big friggin' deal...He had a decent to good rookie season, all things considered.He has a lot of room to improve and he COULD BE our Matt Ryan (ceiling) as a best case scenario...which wouldn't be too bad...Time. We'll see.
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