For a time, it seemed Antonio Brown and Colin Kaepernick would be linked together on the NFL’s do-not-call list.
Both were poised to have their careers end prematurely for non-football reasons. Brown had various legal and mental health problems, while Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem and became a social justice icon.
One of those men could be on a professional football roster soon, and it isn’t Kaepernick.
A team could sign Antonio Brown soon
The collective sigh of football fans who enjoyed not hearing from Antonio Brown could be heard across the world when Adam Schefter hit “send.”
ESPN’s all-world reporter shared Wednesday that the Seattle Seahawks could sign Brown soon. Brown, 32, is eligible to play after his suspension ends following Week 8.
If Brown signs before Week 8 ends and he passes all COVID-19 protocols, he could play in Seattle’s Week 9 game at Buffalo.
Seattle travels to play the Rams in Week 10.
Baltimore could also reportedly be in the mix for Brown, who worked out with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the offseason.
Brown had 841 receptions for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns in his first 10 seasons. The former sixth-round pick made the Pro Bowl every year from 2013-18 and earned first-team All-Pro honors every year from 2014-17.
Brown has not played in an NFL game since Sept. 15, 2019.
Colin Kaepernick is still a free agent
What could be Antonio Brown’s gain is also Colin Kaepernick’s loss.
Kaepernick, who turns 33 on November 3, is still a free agent. The veteran quarterback-turned-civil rights leader hasn’t played since January 2017.
Kaepernick completed 59.8% of his passes in 69 games (58 starts) for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. A dynamic dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick also picked up 2,300 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 6.1 yards per carry.
Kaepernick won four of his six playoff starts and nearly won Super Bowl 47 in February 2013.
Antonio Brown getting a job before Colin Kaepernick is a bad look
A comparison at first glance between Antonio Brown and Colin Kaepernick would provide unfair results.
Brown is an All-Pro receiver who, off numbers alone, is destined for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kaepernick, in his prime, was a fine quarterback. Not an elite one, but a solid and dynamic player.
With his numerous legal issues and lack of respect, the idea of Brown getting an NFL chance before Kaepernick has an ugly ring to it.
Kaepernick is not perfect, and he would return to the NFL with a target on his back. His decision to once wear socks with pigs dressed in police uniforms and his praise of Fidel Castro will forever make him persona non grata in some areas.
After no team even contemplated signing him during the social justice reform this summer, Kaepernick’s playing days might truly be over.
The same should hold true for Brown, at least until he has completed the last of his legal problems. Brown is a problematic distraction who has shown no empathy or regret for his decisions.
Colin Kaepernick is a visionary and a role model who can’t get a job. Why should Brown, a loose cannon and a liability, deserve what Kaepernick can’t have?
Playing ability isn’t the answer, nor is the position they play. This is about two of the NFL’s most divisive figures and the reasons why they’re not employed.
A serial offender like Antonio Brown is more likely to get a chance than players with no legal issues who took a knee for the anthem. That in itself is a sad commentary.