Just when I thought I’d seen it all in the National Football League, this offseason has brought quarterback craziness.
Specifically, I’m talking about a pair of QBs that haven’t been signed despite at least a half dozen less-qualified signal callers getting jobs. And these two quarterbacks are still unemployed for very different reasons.
Chicago Bears’ fans are familiar with one of them, and most are happy Jay Cutler is still without a job. But you need to have a little perspective about your team and Cutler.
You do realize he’s the best QB statistically in the history of the franchise, right?
I still don’t get why he’s the recipient of so much disdain.
Is it because he’s not tough enough? Pish posh! He’s one of the toughest QBs in the league. He’s played injured in games several times, including that NFC Championship game in January, 2011, in which he was wrongly criticized for not playing in the second half.
And remember, he’s played behind a subpar offensive line most of the time (I recall Cutler getting sacked seven times in the first half against the Giants one time, and still finishing the game).
Is it because he doesn’t have the facial expressions you fans want from him? How juvenile can you be?
Is it because of the interceptions he’s thrown? That might be constructive criticism, but his interception rate isn’t that far off a QB that was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year — Brett Favre.
Instead, the Bears decide Mike Glennon is a viable replacement, and Mark Sanchez (yes, the butt fumble guy!) works as a backup.
Sure, that’s logical.
And what about Colin Kaepernick? He was not resigned by the San Francisco 49ers after a season in which he was criticized and complimented for not standing during the National Anthem in protest of racial inequality in our nation.
This is the same Kaepernick who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl four years ago, and was one play away from leading them back the following season.
Sure, his numbers haven’t been great the last two years (3-16 record, 59.8 completion percentage) and his career passer rating (88.9) and TD-to-interception ratio (72 to 30) aren’t spectacular, but compared to other free agent QBs who have signed this offseason — including the Bears’ awesome Glennon-Sanchez duo — there’s no logical reason he’s still available.
Do you think Brian Hoyer or Matt Barkley (both went from the Bears to 49ers) are better? How about 38-year-old former Bear Josh McCown, who is now with the Jets?
Landry Jones (Steelers), Geno Smith (Giants), Josh Johnson (Giants), EJ Manuel (Raiders), Kellen Moore (Cowboys) and Aaron Murray (Rams) have all been signed. I haven’t even heard of Murray, who has never taken a snap in the NFL, but replaces Case Keenum as Jared Goff’s backup in Los Angeles.
You’re telling me those are all better options than Kaepernick (or Cutler for that matter)?
The only reason Kaepernick is still unemployed is because he’s being blackballed due to his political views that caused a stir. General managers are hearing from their team owners who don’t want any fan backlash if they sign Kaepernick, who said he will stop kneeling during the Anthem.
Of course he’ll stop … because he wants to get a job. You can’t blame him for that since he knows how the game works. Kaepernick has been great off the field, donating money to worthy causes, purchasing backpacks for students in Harlem, N.Y., and sending food and supplies to Somalia. He can’t keep doing those good things without having a job in the NFL.
But this is a bad guy because he didn’t stand for our National Anthem, which was written about a battle in a war (Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812). I prefer “God Bless America” when it comes to displays of patriotism.
And if you don’t think “blackballed” is a good word to describe Kaepernick’s plight, look no further than our President bringing up the quarterback in a rally last week in Kentucky.
“They (NFL teams) don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” Trump said in reference to Kaepernick not being signed. You can bet conservative billionaire owners pay attention to the First Tweeter.
• Here’s your savior, IU fans: So are you Indiana University basketball fans happy with Archie Miller being hired as your new coach?
Being a neutral college basketball fan — I root for all Indiana schools in the tournament and whoever is facing Duke — my first reaction was, “Are you sure Archie Andrews wouldn’t have been a better hire with his trusted assistant Jughead Jones?”
Sorry, old comic book reference, but I stand by the underwhelming nature of this acquisition.
The good news is that it saves many IU fans from themselves. Many wanted UCLA coach and IU graduate and hero Steve Alford. But he took his name out of consideration minutes after the Bruins lost to Kentucky late Friday night. Not so coincidentally, the Hoosiers announce Miller’s hire about 12 hours later.
Alford would have been a disaster. At least Miller, who has led Dayton to a school-record four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and won two Atlantic 10 titles, seems to be an upstanding human being. But is a successful mid-major coach really the standard Indiana has set for itself? Isn’t this just slightly better than Illinois hiring John Groce five years ago after he found success at Ohio University?
If I were an IU grad, I would have preferred going hard after someone who has reached the Final Four multiple times or won national titles … someone like Billy Donovan. He won two titles with Florida a decade ago before moving on the NBA’s Oklahoma City.
Maybe IU did go after him and he said no. That means Miller, whose brother Sean has produced below expectations as head coach of Arizona, could be IU’s third choice. Good luck Hoosier fans. Here’s hoping Archie Miller is better than his brother, because that’s what IU expectations should always be.
Reach sports editor Steve T. Gorches at firstname.lastname@example.org or (219) 214-4206. Follow him on Twitter @SteveTGorches.