Colin Kaepernick is back in the news with the George Floyd protests consuming the country over the weekend. The former NFL star is still searching for a job, but it doesn’t seem likely he’ll find a home anytime soon. Kaepernick hasn’t played football since 2017. He started 11 games for the San Francisco 49ers, but how well did he play in his last professional season?
Let’s take a deeper dive and see how Kaepernick stacked up with the rest of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks before he left the league.
Colin Kaepernick almost won a Super Bowl in 2013
Before Colin Kaepernick became a symbol of black oppression, he was a rising star in the NFL. He got his first start in the middle of the 2012-13 season and led the 49ers to a 5-2 record to finish the year.
But Kaepernick wasn’t done there. San Fransisco stuck with the second-year quarterback into the playoffs, and he exploded onto the national scene. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a blowout win over the Green Bay Packers in his first ever playoff start. The duel-threat QB racked up 181 yards rushing and four total touchdowns in the win.
The magic continued the following weekend, and the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons to advance to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Kaepernick, he fell short to the Baltimore Ravens in the biggest game of his life.
Even with the loss, 49ers fans believed they had their answer at quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Kaepernick’s play gradually declined in the following years
After the Super Bowl run in 2012-13, Kaepernick returned the following year and impressed once again. He led the 49ers to a 12-4 record and a second straight NFC Championship berth. This time he couldn’t get to the promised land, and San Fransico lost to the Seattle Seahawks.
In the years following Kaepernick’s two NFC Championship appearances, the QB fell off from his productive start in the league. The 49ers went 8-8 the next season, and it only got worse from there.
Kaepernick played his last NFL season in 2016-17. He went 1-10 as a starter and threw for just 2,241 yards in his 11 starts. The trainwreck that was the 49ers that season wasn’t all Kaepernick’s fault, though. The defense gave up 30 points per game in 2016-17, the highest mark in the NFL.
How did Kaepernick compare to other starting QBs in 2016-17?
In the 2016-17 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick was in the bottom half of production for quarterbacks. His 2,241 yards passing ranked 29th in the league. His quarterback rating was also near the bottom of the league. He ranked 23rd in the NFL with a 49.2 QBR.
Accuracy was Kaepernick’s biggest issue since the Super Bowl season. He was 26th in the league in completion percentage (59.2) in 2016-17. He threw just four interceptions all year, but he was also near the bottom of the league with just 16 touchdown passes.
The closest QB to Kaepernick’s numbers in his final season was Brock Osweiler, who is now out of the NFL too. Kaepernick simply didn’t play well enough to warrant a starting job after 2017.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference