The Tennessee Titans signed journeyman quarterback Brandon Weeden, the team announced Tuesday. The news comes after starter Marcus Mariota was carted off the field during Sunday’s embarrassing 57-14 loss to the Texans.
While Mariota’s hamstring injury is not believed to be serious, the Weeden signing is dumbfounding for a host of reasons, most notably the fact that Colin Kaepernick is still on the free-agent market.
The 29-year-old Kaepernick possesses similar skills as Mariota, given his dynamic running ability and capacity to extend plays with his feet. Making matters worse is Pro Football Talk’s report that Tennessee didn’t even give Kaepernick a workout, instead they “kicked tires” on hapless veterans Matt Barkley, Matt McGloin and T.J. Yates, along with Weeden.
Weeden meanwhile, has not been named a starter since 2013 and has not played in an NFL game since 2015. To be sure, his next-to-nothing creativity in the pocket won’t help a Titans offense predicated on having a mobile quarterback. Plus, it’s not as if Weeden – who will turn 34 this month – lights up the stat sheet either.
For example, his sub-58 percent career completion percentage would rank third worst this season, ahead of only the dreadful Blake Bortles and DeShone Kizer. Better yet, he has compiled a 6-19 record as a starter, along with a nearly 1-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Kaepernick though, is 28-30 as a starter – having reached a Super Bowl – while amassing 85 total touchdowns (72 passing) and 30 interceptions, the same number of picks as Weeden in 33 more starts. Starting 12 games for the lowly 49ers last year, Kap maintained a healthy 16-4 TD-INT ratio.
Oh, but wait. He’s a huge locker room distraction right? Players don’t want to go to bat for him? Players don’t like him?
Don’t forget, it was his teammates who last season voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award, the team’s most prestigious honor, given annually to the 49er who best exemplifies the “inspirational and courageous play.”
Colin Kaepernick's 2016 passer rating was 90.7.
16 teams have starting QBs who've been worse through Week 4. That's half the teams in the NFL.
He should have a starting job.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 3, 2017
With every team that passes on Kaepernick, the possibility of him playing this season seems to be waning. Undoubtedly, he would be a top-notch backup, but as Cam Newton aptly stated before the season began, he’s also better than an assortment of starting quarterbacks as well.
The bottom line in this entire scenario is simple. It is an unfortunate and extremely sad day for the league when organizations are putting their politics ahead of winning football games. Remember too that the 2-2 Titans aren’t some tank job. They are an AFC South contender with playoff aspirations.
Should Mariota miss any time, it boils down to this: Brandon Weeden does not give them a better chance to win games than Colin Kaepernick. And, it’s not even close.
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