Wednesday Morning QB (Week 6)

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It has been the biggest story of the season so far as the protests on the field have taken on a life of their own.

What can sometimes be missing from the entire story though is where this all began and what has happened to the man who started a movement.

It all started in the 2016 preseason when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem to the surprise of everyone.

After the game, the media had plenty of questions for the quarterback and what he had done as nobody had seen that before.

In the post-game interview, Kaepernick stated that he knelt to bring awareness to the inequality in the USA and the increasing numbers of African Americans being killed by the police.

He also claimed that he would not stop kneeling until the country was as equal as the anthem claimed it to be.

It is a debate that has raged one throughout 2016 and has stepped up in 2017 with the President of the United States weighing in and making things much more divisive.

As the season moves on the owners are getting together for an annual meeting and a major point on the docket will be a change to the anthem rules.

Some want the rule to be changed to force players to stand while others don’t think that the rule needs to be changed even if it leads to more distraction.

As the weeks move on the protests morph into something else entirely but lately, the new form of protest has forgotten the originator.

That is because this season Kaepernick has not been on a sideline to protest with his fellow players.

After last season the San Francisco 49rs released the QB, a move that Kaepernick had asked for a year before.

In the off-season, Kaepernick was looking to find a place to play but no team seemed all that interested.

It wasn’t entirely strange as he had been a good quarterback for a few years but had begun to drop off.

Some of that was the lack of flexibility from coaches who tried to fit him into a system rather than fitting the system to his skills.

It is not an uncommon thing in the NFL though and Kaepernick couldn’t find a home before the season started.

Some players began to claim that the league was sending out a message to the owners to ensure he would not be signed.

According to these players, the league didn’t want the guy rocking the boat to have a place to continue to kneel during the anthem and continue to rock the boat.

It didn’t seem to be that convincing though as he just wasn’t the best quarterback anyway and not finding a home wasn’t entirely

Then quarterbacks began to drop like Ryan Tannehill did before the season began and Kaepernick continued to be passed over.

Some fits were better than others but the fact was that Kaepernick was continuing to be passed over every time a quarterback position opened up.

With each position, things began to seem more suspicious especially when Marcus Mariota went down.

Mariota was a dual-threat quarterback like Kaepernick and had the skill to potentially run a similar offence well enough.

The Titans didn’t even allow him to workout though instead signing Matt Cassel who isn’t even close to the same type of quarterback.

Although Mariota wasn’t out long it seemed logical that the Titans would have at least tried out Kaepernick as a potential safety measure just in case.

As for the potential of being a distraction, the entire league is full of protests from everywhere and Kaepernick won’t be the only player to protest if he returns.

They didn’t even take a look at him and to many, that was the sign that the league was blackballing Kaepernick and telling teams not to sign him.

That snub by the Titans led Kaepernick to file a grievance against the NFL claiming that the league is colluding to keep him from playing.

Without an offer to even be a back-up on any team his argument is looking more legitimate as the weeks move on.

The grievance could mean that he wins at least part of what he might have earned this season but that is far from the point.

If he wins and the arbitrator determines that the league violated the CBA and kept him out of the league it is a big win for the players.

They will have proven that the league is purposely keeping a player from making a living proving that the league is not working for them.

Despite his freedom to express himself, whether you agree with the protest or not, Kaepernick might have been kept out of the league and if it is proven there may be some massive fallout for the league.


Fifth Quarter

Turning Point for Pack

The Green Bay Packers were just finding ways to win this season and with a number of injuries, they looked like a team to watch when people got healthy. A big part of that ability to win was the fact that they had Aaron Rodgers under centre who has been able to find ways to pull out games. That could be all over though as Rodgers didn’t last through the first quarter this week breaking his collarbone. The injury might end his season leaving their hopes up in the air as Brett Hundley takes over under centre in his first starting role since being drafted by the Packers in 2015.

Elliott in Limbo

Ezekiel Elliott has been a player that has been stuck in a weird spot all season as he began the year staring at a 6-game suspension for domestic abuse. The charges have never been proven but the league handed out the suspension before the season. Elliott appealed the decision claiming he never got a fair trial and with the appeal, he was allowed to play. The NFL took him back to court and had the suspension reinstated until Elliott won an injunction. He will play in Week 7 but the future of the suspension is still up in the air.

Protests to Continue

The NFL will hold a meeting with the NFL owners this week in New York where they will go over plenty of big issues in the league. One of the biggest will be the protests that have rocked the league throughout the season. The league has had multiple owners express their desire to have the rules changed around the anthem to force the players to stand and eliminate protests. According to sources though the rule will not change as the league keeps things the same allowing players to express their views regardless of what owners or fans might think.

Bowman to Oakland

With the San Francisco 49ers headed towards the bottom of the league every week, their last big holdover decided that he wanted out. NaVarro Bowman was one of the last players and certainly the last big name from San Francisco’s run to the Super Bowl left on the team. After another bad start, he asked to be released from his contract and the Niners allowed it making him a free agent. He might not have many seasons left in the league but his signing to Oakland gives them more depth in the middle and could give Bowman a chance to play for the Super Bowl this year.



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