There’s something not quite right about the way Blaine Gabbert is used as a signifier for abject failure in the case of Colin Kaepernick’s benching, but when a Super Bowl quarterback capable of this is kicked to the curb in favor of a player who has proven himself to be nothing but a subpar quarterback, eyebrows are raised.
So, how did we get here? What events could have possibly led to one of the most ignominious demotions in recent memory? Let’s recap.
- After Kaepernick’s first full season in 2013 led to the Niners’ third-straight NFC Championship game under Jim Harbaugh, everything seemed to be peachy keen. But 2014 showed signs of trouble early, as Kaep was accused of sexual assault at a Miami party. Charges were never filed, however.
- Kaepernick was fined early in the 2014 season for the use of foul language. Initially, he was accused of using a racial slur, but no evidence was found to support that claim. The NFL fined him anyway.
- Kaepernick had a rough 2014 under center, showing little to no progress as a passer and failing to elevate the diminished roster around him. He didn’t pass for a single fourth-quarter touchdown all season. Not one.
- He hasn’t made many people believers in his inspirational brand like Russell Wilson has, either, as his inappropriate use of his dumb hashtag in the wake of a natural disaster.
- And the wheels really have fallen off in 2015. The team around him has gotten even worse (some would say much worse), and without Jim Harbaugh to back him up, his margin of error was slim. But he still made errors, like throwing two-consecutive pick-sixes against the Cardinals.
- His mistakes have tended towards the spectacular, etching in people’s memory far more than the couple of actually good performances he’s had. Like how Kaep pegged an innocent bystander with a wayward pass. Everyone remembers that.
- And it had gotten so bad in early October that tight end Vernon Davis called him out in a team meeting, prompting a fight between him and offensive lineman Joe Staley. Davis was recently traded to the Denver Broncos, for what it’s worth.
And now we have the benching. Kaepernick hasn’t proven he deserves more rope than he’s been given, but it’s still a head-scratcher that the team thinks Gabbert is a better option. Unless the whole team’s tanking for a high draft pick, in which case, by all means, throw Gabbert out there.