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Opinion: Why Colin Kaepernick Is a Much-Needed Upgrade at QB for The Cleveland Browns

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CLEVELAND — Yes, the headline above is not a typo or a case of me losing my mental sanity, but considering that Colin Kaepernick wants to play for new head coach Hue Jackson and that the Browns don’t appear too sold on Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, such a move may be exactly what the QB-starved Browns need.

By now, you have already read the reports of disgruntled San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wanting out of Silicon Valley and bringing his talents to the North Coast. What struck many football experts—i.e. haters—is that he WANTS to come to Cleveland!

Cleveland, Ohio. The Mistake By The Lake, the city with a burning river, highest urban poverty rate of any major U.S. city, Detroit’s little brother, THAT Cleveland!

And he WANTS to play for a franchise that is better known as “The Factory Of Sadness’, has churned out QB’s like a merciless recycling machine and was recently burned by a *ichigan-educated, borderline-HIPAA violating, ESPN studio geek who has never played a professional down in Adam Schefter, due to their lack of free agent activity and how players have treated Cleveland like a four-year college, you mean THOSE Browns!

Bravo, this writer has to hand it to Kaepernick for having the biggest set of cojones…EVER.

What is so funny about all of this is that, this may be a perfect marriage for both the Browns and Kaepernick.

Consider the rogue’s gallery of Browns signal-callers over the last few years in Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace, Brandon Weeden, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer and of course the second biggest bust in NFL history in Johnny/Billy Manziel.

What do all of these quarterbacks have in common? None of them ever solidified the QB spot in Cleveland and all of them would ever be confused with being an All-Pro world-beater that would scare opposing teams.

While the Browns may be kicking the tires on Goff, Wentz, Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook and possibly future civic icon in Glenville’s own Cardale Jones, Cleveland has never had a proven, bonafide signal-caller that can take them to the next level, nor has had any experience of winning, save for Jake Delhomme.

Also, none of them are a potential game-changer like Kaep.

Let’s think about this for a second, you have a 6’4, 230-pound athlete that has good arm strength, mobility and can make plays. Personally, I think Kaepernick was in a bad situation with an amateur masquerading as an NFL head coach in Jim Tomsula. Couple that with a myriad of retirements and injuries that ravaged San Francisco and a lot was asked off Kaep in trying to carry a short-handed Niners squad.

And his numbers clearly suffered in yards per attempt (6.7), total QBR (47.6) and TD-INT ration (1.2), which ultimately led to being benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

Yes, THAT Blaine Gabbert!

In looking over his career, Kaepernick has a career record of 27-20 as a starter, since taking over the reigns from Alex Smith in 2012, was one pass away from being a Super Bowl champion and played in two NFC title games. In the post-season, he has a 4-2 record and has passed for 1,374 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In addition to being a decent passer, he is an excellent runner and athlete as he has rushed for close to 1,900 yards (1,832) on 306 carries, 11 touchdowns and a 6.0 yards rushing per attempt.

While his career completion percentage of 59.9 is a bit worrisome, Jackson has proven in the past that he can work with quarterbacks as he has already done so with Joe Flacco—who beat Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII—and Andy Dalton this past season down in Cincinnati.

And if the reports are true that he wanted the Raiders to take Kaepernick, then pulling the trigger on this deal is a no-brainer as you have a coach and QB who want to work with each other.

In Cleveland, none the less, the NFL’s version of Siberia.

For his career—and still at the age of 28—Kaepernick has passed for over 10,000 yards (10,030), thrown 56 touchdowns, 26 interceptions for a passer rating of 88.5. Name me the last Cleveland quarterback to even come close to those type of numbers? I’ll wait.

Such a rare combination of athleticism, arm strength and talent doesn’t come around all that often who actually wanted to play in Cleveland for a Browns head coach, which is why if I’m Cleveland, a third-round pick in this year’s draft plus a conditional pick in 2017 should do the trick.

If this does indeed come to fruition, Cleveland will not have to stress over choosing an unproven NFL commodity for once and focus on taking the best player available whether it is Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey or trade down and acquire more picks to really jumpstart the team’s rebuilding process.

A 2016 third-rounder for a proven QB such as Kaepernick that is a proven winner and NFL commodity, is four years removed from playing in a Super Bowl, and would upgrade the much-maligned position of Cleveland Browns quarterback for the next five to six years?

Sign me up.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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