Colin Kaepernick: Well Worth The Money
NFL free agency is about to get in full swing. Teams are looking for that additional piece to put them over the top. But along with the free agency period, it’s also extension time. Plenty of players are going into their last year of their contracts and are looking for that payday they believed they have earned. And of course, the quarterback position is still in the spotlight in these talks. The Boston Globe is reporting that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is seeking $18 million a year in his newest deal. Immediately, fans began to weigh in on whether or not he was worth that amount of money. Some believe that he is worth it. While others believe his value is way less than the monies he is looking for. But if you look at the different factors that go into his newest contract, Kaepernick is well worth the money.
Colin is definitely not the prototypical quarterback. He is big, fast and has a rocket for an arm. But of course, he has some things to improve on. But that is to be expected from a quarterback who just completed his first full year as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Even though he is still growing as a quarterback and improving still, Colin has had a lot of success early on. Kaepernick has led his team to the Super Bowl and to the NFC title game in successive seasons. And what has been even more impressive is the numbers he put up in his first full season (2013) despite not having his full complement of weapons the entire season. He posted 3,197 yards, 21 TDs and only 8 interceptions. Colin also added 524 yards rushing with 4 rushing TD’s. If you put his first year numbers alongside Russell Wilson and Cam Newton’s, they are not far off in all actuality. In fact, he actually had a better first year as a starter than Cam Newton in terms of interceptions (Cam had 17 interceptions in his first year as a starter). Cam and Russell are expected to get huge deals when their time comes. So if Colin has numbers comparable to them, then why shouldn’t he be able to get the same type of pay?
Also, the thing that people forget is the market was not set by Kaepernick as to what quarterbacks should get. That honor belongs to quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. Both veteran quarterbacks were awarded new deals that set their salaries around $18 million a year at the time they were signed. But both have one thing in common: they have never won anything other than a regular season division championship. In fact, Cutler is the only one that has even been to a conference championship game out of the two. But according to the stats, both Chicago and Dallas felt their quarterbacks were worthy of getting 18 million a season. Honestly, both are pretty good regular season quarterbacks, but they do not come through in the playoffs at all (combined 2-4 in the postseason). Compare their postseason win/loss record and Colin is far and away better then both of them in the postseason (4-2 record) and has appeared in each NFC Championship game. You can make the argument that Colin is more essential to winning than these two quarterbacks. So if that is the case, shouldn’t he get paid like both of these quarterbacks then?
Essentially, the payment of Cutler and Romo on their new deals has caused the market to balloon to the current price Colin is asking for. And with the salary cap expected to be $150 million per team in 2016, look for more young successful quarterbacks to go for $18 million a year or more. Colin’s success has been on par with Luck, Newton and Wilson and he should be paid accordingly.
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