Did Seahawks Pass On Colin Kaepernick To Spare Russell Wilson’s Feelings?

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — What in the world is going on in Seattle?

It seems as though a day can’t pass this offseason without the Seahawks making news. ESPN blew the doors open with the story about Richard Sherman reportedly telling Russell Wilson “you (bleeping) suck” after throwing an interception in practice. That came after weeks of speculation regarding a potential trade of Sherman, which reportedly could be traced back to frustrations from losing Super Bowl XLIX. Seahawks radio commentator and Hall of Famer Warren Moon seemed to confirm that many players are still sore about that loss. They also had the whole hiding-an-injury snafu.

And then the Seahawks went and added to the hoopla by bringing in Colin Kaepernick for a workout. Head coach Petey Carroll said that Kaepernick is good enough to be a starter in this league … but he apparently was not deemed good enough to be a backup in the NFC West. The Seahawks instead signed Austin Davis, leaving the controversial figure that is Kaepernick to remain unemployed.

Here’s a comparison of how the two quarterbacks played last year:

Kaepernick:
196-for-331 (59.2%)
2,241 yards
16 TDs
4 INTs
90.7 passer rating

Davis:
0-for-0
0 yards
0 TDs
0 INTs

Hey, dummy,” you may protest. “Davis obviously didn’t play last year. What a stupid comparison you’re making. Idiot.”

OK, fair enough — though unnecessarily hostile.

For deeper perspective, here is a comparison of their career numbers:

Kaepernick:
1,011-1,692 (59.8%)
12,271 yards
72 TDs
30 INTs
88.9 passer rating

Davis:
236-for-378 (62.4%)
2,548 yards
13 TDs
12 INTs
80.4 passer rating.

I suppose it would be unfair to disregard the rushing statistics of these two quarterbacks, right? So here you go:

Kaepernick:
375 rushing attempts
2,300 yards
13 TDs

Davis:
23 rushing attempts
69 yards
0 TDs

OK, well … maybe Davis was a better collegiate quarterback?!

Kaepernick (at Nevada):

740-for-1,271 (58.2%)
10,098 yards
82 TDs
24 INTs
142.5 passer rating
4,112 rushing yards
59 rushing TDs

Davis (at Southern Mississippi):

933-for-1,527 (61.1%)
10,892 yards
83 TDs
27 INTs
135.4 passer rating
1,375 rushing yards
25 rushing TDs

Hm.

So.

What?

Why did the Seahawks pass on adding a talented player and instead opted to send the club’s graphics team to create this gem?

The obvious answer is that the Seahawks, like seemingly every other team this spring, does not care to bring on the “baggage” of Kaepernick if he’s just going to be a backup. As football folks like to say, teams prefer their backup quarterback to be like wallpaper: blend in, be quiet, draw no attention. Life is simpler that way.

And when a quarterback like Kaepernick proves to be divisive among fan bases for those who choose to see his statements in their own light, there’s undoubtedly a risk-reward equation that takes place in front office discussions when considering signing the player. Judgments on that practice can be saved for a different forum.

(As a side story, thank goodness that the Kaepernick saga has at least brought to light how ethically challenged John Mara is with the team he inherited. Thank goodness.)

But what if — what if! — the Seahawks have a different reason for choosing an inferior quarterback to occupy a roster spot?

What if the team is aware of an already-sensitive situation with Russell Wilson and doesn’t want to exacerbate a potential locker room issue?

That may sound like baseless speculation, and I suppose at its core, it is. Yet Brock Huard, who hosts a radio show in Seattle and welcomes Pete Carroll as a guest every week, was the one suggesting it.

“As much as Pete wants to compete at every position, quarterbacks are different,” Huard said, according to Pro Football Talk. “And especially when you’ve got a $20 million quarterback, and a guy that you know is your franchise, a guy that you believe in deeply. It would have been too much. Too much for a locker room, for a quarterback room that doesn’t need it.”

That’s a person who is relatively well connected to the franchise — he spent four years as a quarterback on the Seahawks, he co-hosts the radio show, and he provides color commentary on TV for Seahawks preseason games — saying that it would have been “too much for a locker room” to sign Colin Kaepernick.

Maybe he’s on the money. Maybe he’s way off base. But that’s now two members of Seahawks team broadcasts who have gone on the record to speak about unique issues in the Seahawks locker room, thus ensuring that the questions and intrigue surrounding the team will not cease any time soon.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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