Joe Santoro: 49ers should sign Kap | NevadaAppeal.com

Joe Santoro: 49ers should sign Kap

Joe Santoro

The San Francisco 49ers should sign Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers need a quarterback after the season-ending knee injury to Jimmy Garoppolo. Kaepernick is the most accomplished and most talented quarterback available right now. The former Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback would instantly make the 49ers the most interesting team in the NFL. He might even make the 49ers a playoff team. Without Kaepernick the 49ers will be lucky to finish .500. If starter C.J. Beathard gets injured and backup Nick Mullens has to play, the 49ers won't win another game. They could be the most boring team in the NFL even with Beathard. But, of course, Kaepernick will never put on a 49er or any other NFL uniform ever again. The NFL is afraid of him. There supposedly are NFL sponsors and season ticket holders who don't like to see NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. No head coach, a group composed of frightened, paranoid, control-freak dictators, wants to deal with the media and public relations headache of having Kaepernick on the roster. So the 49ers are left with Beathard and Mullens. Enjoy.

•••

Kaepernick passed for 16 touchdowns and 2,241 yards in just 12 games in 2016 and had a quarterback rating of 90.7 for an awful 49ers team. Do you think Beathard is going to put up those numbers? So Kaepernick's ability isn't the issue. He can learn Kyle Shanahan's offensive system. He learned Chris Ault's pistol at Nevada and then the 49ers' version of it in the NFL. Kaepernick is extremely intelligent. He's a once-a-generation athlete. He can learn how to hand off or throw a slant in any offensive system. Quarterbacks change teams all the time. Every team's system has differences. They adapt. Kaepernick can handle it. He's learned to adapt his entire life, on and off the field. The only reason Kaepernick isn't on a NFL roster right now is simply because he took a knee during the national anthem. 49ers fans didn't seem to be too bothered by Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem two years ago. They didn't walk out of the stadium when he took a knee. When he played well they cheered him. They would cheer for him again.

•••

The only legitimate question about Kaepernick joining a NFL team right now is whether or not he truly wants to play again. It doesn't seem so. The 49ers brought in seven free agent quarterbacks this week for a tryout. All seven would sell their football souls to have Kaepernick's ability or his career. Kellen Clemens, Kyle Allen, Matt Simms, T.J. Yates, Tom Savage, Landry Jones and E.J. Manuel. There's a reason all seven are available. And it has nothing to do with taking a knee during the anthem. But, as far as we all know, the 49ers didn't ask Kaepernick to come in for a tryout this week and Kaepernick didn't ask to come in. Kaepernick is now 30 years old, soon to be 31. He hasn't played in almost two years. He has clearly turned his competitive fires toward off-the-field pursuits. You could argue those off-the-field concerns are clearly more important than trying to get a mediocre team into the playoffs. So maybe he simply has moved on.

•••

Recommended Stories For You

The good news for 49er fans is the schedule is forgiving. There are eight games the rest of the way (two against Arizona along with the Chargers, Raiders, Buccaneers, Giants, Broncos and Bears) that even Beathard might win. Beathard, like Kaepernick, is likely better than any of the seven who came to Santa Clara for a tryout this week. The former Iowa quarterback was the sixth quarterback taken in the 2017 draft and did throw for 200 or more yards in five-of-six games last year. He can play. He can beat bad teams. Just like Kaepernick.

•••

The 49ers' quarterback situation has been fascinating in recent years with a lot of twists and turns. Don't forget the 49ers could have taken Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson with their first-round pick (No. 3 overall) in the 2017 draft and wouldn't have had to trade for Garoppolo later that season or given him a $137 million contract this summer. The 49ers took Beathard in the third round of that same draft, after quarterbacks Mahomes, Watson, Mitchell Trubisky, DeShone Kizer and Davis Webb were taken. Beathard might not be as talented as Mahomes or Watson but he's probably as good as Trubisky and better than Kizer or Webb. That's pretty good value for a third-round pick.

•••

The Oakland Raiders might be in an even more desperate situation right now than the 49ers. The Raiders are 0-3 and the pressure is on new coach Jon Gruden to stop the bleeding. Making matters worse for the future Las Vegas team is former Raider linebacker Khalil Mack is now in Chicago ripping apart quarterbacks. The Raiders have allowed an average of 27 points a game without him. If the Raiders lose to the Cleveland Browns this weekend in Oakland and fall to 0-4, Coach Chucky might explode. This is a must-win game for the Raiders.

•••

The Nevada Wolf Pack's chances at a division championship in the Mountain West might be on the line today at Air Force. Yes, it's just the Pack's first league game and anything can happen in the Mountain West. But the schedule gets a whole lot tougher immediately after this weekend with games at home against Boise State, San Diego State and Fresno State and on the road against Hawaii. If the Pack, which has never finished better than 4-4 in Mountain West play, gets through its first five Mountain West games (Air Force, Fresno State, Boise State, Hawaii and San Diego State) with no more than two losses, a division title is a distinct possibility. The final three league games (Colorado State, San Jose State, UNLV) are winnable for the Pack.

•••

Nothing that has happened the first four games of the season has changed what we thought of this Pack football team. Eight wins is still a possibility but this is also remains a team that can beat any team on its schedule or lose to any team on its schedule. It does seem a little far fetched to suggest a team than can beat Boise State can also lose to San Jose State. But that's how inconsistent this Pack team has been the last two seasons under coach Jay Norvell. It's rare when this team plays the same way two weeks in a row. In fact, it hasn't happened yet. The inconsistencies have been on both sides of the ball with quarterback Ty Gangi still experiencing accuracy issues and the defense only showing up once every three or four plays. Once those inconsistencies are ironed out, look out. This team could take off. And it might start this week. Or next week. Or in Week 10. Nobody knows for sure.