Even if the Pro Football Talk report is accurate, which is debatable, the Cincinnati Bengals are not going to acquiesce to the alleged wishes of a couple players and sign Colin Kaepernick.
The PFT report said that if Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton continues to struggle, “there’s a feeling among some of the players that the Bengals should go off the board and consider bringing in Colin Kaepernick.”
Because that’s parsed as third-party hearsay rather than a direct comment from an anonymous source, it’s doubtful PFT talked to a single player in the locker room, which should throw a shroud of skepticism on the report.
But even if you want to play along and believe it’s true, the Cincinnati Bengals are not going to sign Kaepernick.
Such a move would defy common sense, football sense and business sense, and it has nothing to do with Kaepernick’s political views.
Not only is Dalton under contract through 2020, the Bengals have a quality backup in AJ McCarron. And for the second year in a row they took the rare step of keeping a third quarterback on the 53-man roster. That third quarterback, Jeff Driskel, has a similar skill set to Kaepernick with the ability to make plays with his feet, plus he has a stronger arm is and is five years younger.
While Driskel is currently injured, the idea that the Bengals would bring in a quarterback off the street who has no knowledge of the offense and is 2-16 in his last 18 starts and move him ahead of McCarron is ludicrous.
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Even the idea of benching Dalton for McCarron at this point is far-fetched.
Yes, Dalton has been dreadful in the first two games of the season, but he’s coming off a season in which he threw the fewest interceptions in franchise history, which followed a 2015 season when he was in the MVP conversation. The Bengals aren’t a knee-jerk organization, and they certainly aren’t going to pay Dalton $13 million this year and $47 million over the next three seasons to be a backup.
And while the structure Dalton’s deal means cutting him would not result in a huge cap hit, the Bengals have a history of being loyal to a fault and hanging on to players through the end of their deals, even after their productivity has declined.
The organization already made a huge, rare move of firing offensive coordinator Ken Zampese on Friday. The front office isn’t going to double down with another drastic decision like signing Kaepernick, regardless of whatever alleged “feelings” may be floating around the locker room.