In case you didn’t know, ESPN thinks the Seahawks are broken. Senior writer Seth Wickersham came out with an article commenting on the locker room environment, accusing Richard Sherman of not letting go of the Super Bowl XLIX loss to the New England Patriots. Claims of Russell Wilson not being held accountable and a hostile divide between the defense and offense in the locker room made for a pretty dreary State of the Seahawks report.
There are a lot of ifs around this story. IF Russell would have thrown the ball a certain way, the Seahawks would have won. IF Pete Carroll was harsher, the divide wouldn’t be there. IF the Seahawks would have won, Sherman wouldn’t be so pissed off all the time.
IF the Seahawks are as broken as the article suggests, WHY would they entertain the idea of Kaepernick?
As ESPN continues to insist on merging social issues and sports, Kaepernick has become one of the biggest stories in sports. Regardless of your stance on his actions and decisions over the last season, it’s no secret that Kaepernick brings a certain presence to the locker room that can be absolutely devastating to your team.
The thought isn’t that Kaepernick’s activism in and of itself can destroy a team, it’s the simple fact that the Seahawks clearly have enough to deal with, and Kaepernick brings a whole new set of baggage to deal with. The biggest thing: media.
The Seahawks are clearly now in damage control mode. When asked by Seattle times reporter Bob Condotta about the team’s reaction to the article, receiver Doug Baldwin responded: “There wasn’t much, actually. It was pretty quiet on the front.”
Richard Sherman called the article “a bunch of nonsense” and the very outspoken Michael Bennett said “trash.”
Damage control means keeping a front and keeping the media out of it until this all blows over. The very last thing the Seahawks need/want is a greater media presence and further speculation, digging, and distractions from the media. Kaepernick brings all of the above with him.
Carroll commented that the Seahawks would not be signing Kaepernick “at this time”, but that he believes Kaepernick is still a starter in the NFL.
Two things: first off, he is absolutely not a starter in the NFL. His 2016 QBR came in at 55.2, just lower than Brock Osweiler. Now, that rating was still higher than Cam Newton and a few other names, but combine that with the fact that Blaine Gabbert was determined by his leaders to be a better option, and tell me he’s a legitimate starter in this league.
Second, it’s an example of Carroll being the positive coach that made him great and supposedly is making the Seahawks not so great. As Wickersham writes: “…at the heart of Carroll’s program is a tacit promise: He will help players become their best selves, and in becoming their best selves, the team will become its best self.” Others have said that this basically means Carroll focuses on what players CAN do rather than what they can’t do. In Kaepernick’s case, this means Carroll is stoked on Kaepernick’s ability to not turn the ball over and maybe even his mobility.
Behind closed doors, Carroll has to know Kaepernick is a bad choice, particularly in light of the recent column. Perhaps it was a way of checking off the box for Seattle to maintain its image as an accepting and progressive franchise, maybe it really was genuine interest in Kaepernick as a potential backup. Either way, it’s a recipe for disaster, and the Seahawks would do well to steer clear at this time and down the road.