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Could Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick Reunite for 2021-22 NFL Season?

Michigan had it’s worst season under Jim Harbaugh with a 2-4 record. Many could say that Covid played a part in the team’s terrible season, but defensive coordinator Don Brown would suffer the consequences. Don Brown’s firing has lead some to question whether Harbaugh might be at Michigan next.

Michigan Under Harbaugh

In the past 6 years, Harbaugh has won 69% of his games and has only won the Citrus bowl. While the team has played well overall, their lack off bowl wins and National Championship appearances might be enough for Michigan to say they’ve seen enough from the coach and move on. He has less than 3 years left on his contract and to this point no deal has been done, so I think we can assume there might be some hesitation for another long term deal on the part of Michigan but only time will tell.

What if Michigan Fires Harbaugh?

Being that Jim Harbaugh has less than 3 years left on his deal and one still isn’t done yet, some would believe that Harbaugh might be on his way out of Michigan thus brining us to the rumors that he might make another run at head coaching in the NFL. Some rumors being passed around even include him going back to the 49ers and bringing Colin Kaepernick back with him.

It’s an interesting theory, for sure, but let’s break it down in reality. When Harbaugh left the 49ers he still had a year left on his deal and while the 49ers said the split was mutual, Harbaugh had things to say to the contrary. Essentially Harbaugh said that it was 49ers that hierarchy that parted ways with him, so to say that they parted ways on good terms would be less than honest.

Obviously since Harbaugh has been gone there have been changes to the 49ers organization but that doesn’t mean that Harbaugh and the organization have patched things up, but if they have would he even be interested in going back after all that happened? What if the Jets show him some interest because they get rid of Adam Gase ?

Let’s say he were to take either head coaching job, the question then would be should he try to sign Colin Kaepernick? My answer would be no and here’s why.

Kaepernick never wow’d me

I have never found Kaepernick to be an above average NFL talent quaterback and when you look at his stats, I am not wrong. In the two seasons the 49ers went to the playoffs, Kaepernick’s QBR didn’t even get over 65 for the season. That’s an average quarterback’s stat and while some can make the case that his career ended short, I think he was on his way to the bench anyway.

After Harbaugh left, Kaepernick’s performance declined to the point where his starting job was up for grabs and Chip Kelly ultimately named Blaine Gabbert the starter. Honestly, I don’t think it was a decline Kaepernick’s play the exposed him, I think it was the team around him that left him exposed.

The years under Harbaugh the 49ers had a tough run game and a very good defense. In that kind of a situation all Kaepernick would have to do is make his reads accurately, get the ball out quickly, and protect the ball. All things he did well but when it comes down to it, in my opinion, I never saw him excel at any of those things.

There were times where he would make poor decisions with the game on the line that a veteran shouldn’t be making and it wasn’t because he was making a mistake, it was because he had to play on a level that he couldn’t constantly maintain like some of the top tier quarterbacks can.

What I mean by this is that Kaepernick was a very mobile quarterback, but with his mobility came a lack of down field vision unlike Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson who both move well but keep their eyes down field. Kaepernick also wasn’t as accurate on the move as the other two I mentioned which was better than turning the ball over, I guess, but it did cost them downs and points.

If you compared Kaepernick’s stats to almost any quarterback, he was on a trajectory like an RGIII or Jason Campbell. They win some games, flash some greatness sometimes, but overall just another decent quarterback. Throw on the fact that he hasn’t played pro football in more than 3 years, I just don’t see bringing Kaepernick back at this point as a viable option for a team to be competitive. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a decent starter or backup that’s just to say that, at this point it, wouldn’t seem that he would add any greater value to an offense.

Kaepernick’s relationship with the fans and media

Now I know some would argue about his standing with the public and the media but the very ugly truth of the matter is that America is still just as divided as they were back then and bringing in someone like Kaepernick would need to have some immediate impact, but like I said before, his stats are on par with an average quarterback and if you compared him to the options currently available the risk would seem to out weigh the reward unless the goal is to score PR points and in which case even having him as a backup would be a gamble.

The NFL wants to be as far away from politics as possible so the last thing any owner wants is to lose millions of dollars in revenue because of protests against the signing of Colin Kaepernick. Loss in revenue means people lose money and if you’ve been paying attention to the sports world, athletes have been going back and forth with owners about the Covid restrictions and the loss of games. NBA players just had to decide when they were going to start the season because if they started after January they could lose out on billions of dollars.

I am not saying the signing of Colin Kaepernick would be to that affect, I am just saying that if you own a team and 20% of your fans boycott that ends up being a loss in revenue not to mention fans from around the league that would feel the same way.

In the end, I don’t think Kaepernick shouldn’t be worked out or considered for a spot which he has been, but I personally don’t think Jim Harbaugh would sign Colin Kaepernick because at this point in his career, he has probably reached his peak especially not having played football in more than 3 years. Carson Wentz seems like he might be making his way out of Philly soon and the draft is coming up; if Harbaugh does find his way back into the league he could do better than Kaepernick at quarterback.


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