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NFL

Are the Browns interested in Colin Kaepernick if Watson is suspended the whole season?

Deshaun Watson is facing a suspension of six games, possibly more after the NFL’s appeal is finished. Colin Kaepernick has emerged as a candidate to be QB1.

Update:
Deshaun Watson is facing a suspension of six games, possibly more after the NFL's appeal is finished. Colin Kaepernick has emerged as a candidate to be QB1.
Marcio Jose SanchezAP Photo

The Cleveland Browns are a month away from starting the regular season, and at the moment the quarterback situation far from being resolved. Deshaun Watson is facing a lengthy suspension, and it has left the coaching staff scrambling to find a solution.

Watson in, Mayfield out

It became evident at the end of last season that the relationship between former Browns QB Baker Mayfield and Cleveland was at a breaking point. Rumors spread like wildfire that the former Oklahoma Sooner was on his way out. When the Browns traded for Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson that sealed Mayfield exit out of FirstEnergy Stadium.

There was obvious risk involved with bringing Watson to town as he was still in the midst of a lawsuits after being accused by 24 different women of sexual misconduct during message sessions from 2019 to 2021. There was no verdict, or suspension from the league handed out at the time of the trade, but the cloud of possibility hung over Watson.

There have been settlements in 23 of the 24 lawsuits, but that didn’t get Watson out of the woods. Last week, judge Sue L. Robinson suspended Watson for the first six games of the season, although the decision is currently being appealed as the NFL is hoping to get the suspension lengthened. Talk around the league suggests a possibility Watson being suspended for the entire year. If that’s the case the Browns might have to look elsewhere for a quarterback to carry them through the year.

Kaepernick remains an option

Every year around this time, when quarterback battles are in full swing in the month leading up to preseason Colin Kaepernick’s name seems to get tossed into the conversation.

During the 2016 campaign, Kaepernick faced backlash from around the league and around the country when he decided to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the police brutality the oppression black people face in the US. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”

It was a season long controversy that ended with the former San Francisco quarterback playing his last game with the Niners and in the league on January 1st of 2017. San Francisco hired Kyle Shannahan and that offseason, and Kaepernick was not seen as they type of quarterback that fit the new system coming in, so he entered the free agent market.

It’s been five years since Kaepernick played

Kaepernick never signed another NFL contract again. The stigma of being the face of a movement that many owners were not in favor of took it’s toll and Kaepernick didn’t just struggle to get offers, he struggled to even get a try out as a free agent until almost three years later when he got the chance to throw for scouts from seven different NFL teams.

In six years as a 49er, Kaepernick went 69-58, and led the his team to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship in 2013. The next three years Kaepernick was the QB, San Francisco missed the playoffs as he slowly lost grip on his starting role. Over the course of his career he threw for 72 touchdowns, rushed for another 13 and threw just 30 interceptions. His ability to run the ball or thrown out of the wildcat formation set him apart from almost every quarterback in the league, but once NFL defenses started to figure out the system, the Niners decline started.

Now, just like every other offseason over the last few years, Colin Kaepernick is back in the spotlight. This year it’s the Cleveland Browns who are being implored to take a chance on the former San Fran signal caller. He is 34 years old, with an upcoming birthday in November, but reports are he is still keeping in shape. One thing is being in shape but another thing is being game ready after five years since his last NFL game.

Brissett, Rosen and Dobbs the back ups in Cleveland

Yesterday it was reported that Kaepernick was throwning around with free agent Jarvis Landry, Browns receiver Jakeem Grant and Browns tight end David Njoku sparking speculation of potential interest from Cleveland. At the moment there are no serious talks of the Browns considering picking up Kaepernick. If the Browns are interested it would be in their best interest to expedite talks to get Kaepernick incorporated as soon as possible.

If there Browns don’t make a move for the Kaepernick or any other quarterback on the market, they will have to settle for the QBs they have on their roster. Jacoby Brissett has the most experience, with 37 starts in the NFL, but has a record of 14-23 in those games. Josh Rosen is on the roster, but the former number 10 pick in 2018. He has only started three games since his rookie season and has thrown just 11 passes over the last two years. and Joshua Dobbs is another option, but he has just 17 career passing attempts since getting drafted in 2017.

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