Pete Carroll says Colin Kaepernick is still a starter, but he won’t be the Seahawks’ backup anytime soon
Jun 2, 2017, 8:22 PM | Updated: 8:59 pm
RENTON – The Seahawks are still looking at backup quarterbacks. For now, at least, they aren’t turning to Colin Kaepernick.
That was the gist of what coach Pete Carroll said Friday following Seattle’s first Organized Team Activity when asked about the Seahawks’ interest in Kaepernick. The former 49ers starter made a free-agent visit with Seattle last week but left without a deal.
“It was another opportunity for us to keep abreast of what’s available to help our team,” Carroll said of the visit with Kaepernick. “We’ve done it in a million ways. (General manager John Schneider) continues to work at every turn to figure out what’s available, what we could do, does it fit? Does it not fit? Colin has been a fantastic football player, and he’s going to continue to be. At this time, we didn’t do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league, and we have a starter. But he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine that somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”
If Kaepernick is a starter, Carroll was asked, why isn’t he starting for anyone?
“That’s not my issue. I don’t know,” Carroll said. “We brought him in here to check him out, and I think it was very productive for us get to know him better. I had never really sat down and talked to the guy.”
Here was Pete Carroll on what he learned about Colin Kaepernick from their visit and how he feels about the Seahawks’ backup QB situation: pic.twitter.com/lMAJvj4mI7
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) June 3, 2017
Kaepernick’s decision to not stand for the national anthem in protest of racial inequality last season is widely believed to have had at least some impact on his ability to find a job even as a backup. Some have suggested that Kaepernick has priced himself out of jobs with prohibitive contract demands; Carroll declined to say if the two sides discussed financial terms.
As for Kaepernick’s political stance affecting his market, Carroll said: “I don’t know that. Let’s wait and see. There’s some other guys still out there, too.”
Earlier this week, Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio said he doesn’t think the Seahawks will sign Kaepernick, a belief that may have been based on some inside information given his close relationship with Carroll. Asked if the Seahawks have moved on from the idea of signing Kaepernick or if the door is still open, Carroll said it is. But he said that’s the case in the sense that Seattle doesn’t usually close personnel doors, which didn’t leave the impression that signing Kaepernick is at all likely.
“The doors are always open to opportunities,” Carroll said. “We’re just going to try to do the best we can for our guys whenever the opportunity presents itself, and we’ll see. But as of right now, we know what we’re doing.”
Carroll: Locker-room issues described in ESPN article is ‘old stuff’
And so for now, at least, Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps will remain the two quarterbacks on Seattle’s roster vying to back up Russell Wilson. Boykin held that job as an undrafted rookie last season and delivered some very mixed results in a handful of shorter appearances. He ran into more legal trouble when he was arrested earlier in the offseason on two misdemeanor charges. Heaps, meanwhile, is another former undrafted player and hasn’t attempted a pass in a regular-season game.
Carroll doesn’t sound entirely comfortable with Seattle’s backup quarterback situation, understandably so.
“Well, I feel about like I did a year ago,” he said. “We’re still trying to develop it and make sure we’re making the right decisions. We’ll continue to work at it. Trevone continues to need to be pushed. Jake is doing that right now, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done. We’re going to continue to look for ways to make it more competitive and put us in the best position where, if it counts, now you need that second guy in there, he can go in there and do some good stuff. He did an admirable job last year as a rook doing it. He’ll be better, he looks better, he’s much more in command of what we’re doing. It takes years and years to develop these guys, and he’s in Year 2, so I expect him to continue to get better. We know he can play for us. That’s what we do know.”