The Cleveland Browns won’t be turning to Colin Kaepernick to address their need for another quarterback this offseason, a league source told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot on Wednesday.
According to Cabot, the Browns remain hopeful they can swing a trade for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, whom ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the New England Patriots plan to retain.
Kaepernick is under contract for 2017, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported his agents have told teams the quarterback will opt out and become a free agent.
Even assuming a Garoppolo trade is a nonstarter, the Browns would be smart dismissing the idea of signing Kaepernick.
Cleveland essentially made the same move last year when it gave Robert Griffin III a second chance in the hope he could rekindle the magic of his 2012 season. Instead, Griffin threw for 886 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and suffered a shoulder injury that limited him to five games.
While Kaepernick doesn’t have the same injury history as Griffin, there’s little reason to expect him to suddenly be a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback again.
He finished 2016 with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 12 games. Pro Football Focus graded him 26th (61.9) among 34 qualified passers, and he was 30th among quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above average), per Football Outsiders.
After winning one game and shuffling through five different quarterbacks last season, the Browns need to find a long-term answer at the position, and the NFL draft would be the ideal place to remedy the situation.
Cleveland has the first and 12th overall picks. With Myles Garrett the likely option at No. 1, the Browns could then target one of Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky or DeShone Kizer at No. 12.
While the Browns don’t have a great history of developing young quarterbacks, the draft is the more preferable route to signing a veteran quarterback such as Kaepernick and hoping he turns things around.Read more NFL news on BleacherReport.com