Over the past week, there has been a lot of talk about Colin Kaepernick and if the Chargers should sign him. But would Kaepernick have a positive or negative effect on Justin Herbert? Kaepernick has not played since 2016 and before that played six seasons for the 49ers. Herbert was the sixth pick and future franchise quarterback for the Chargers. According to Coach Lynn, Kaepernick would fit perfectly in their offensive scheme.
Would Kaepernick Have A Positive Or Negative Effect On Justin Herbert?
Justin Herbert is the future franchise quarterback and has all the physical characteristics to be a starter now. However, Herbert is also a developmental player, who still needs to develop his ability to read the field, go through his progressions, and work on his mechanics.
Colin Kaepernick has not played since opting out of his contract in 2016. Kaepernick played six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and has playoff and Super Bowl experience. After six seasons with the Niners, Kaepernick’s stats were 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions in 69 games.
Anthony Lynn listed Kaepernick on the team’s emergency workout list, stating that Kaepernick will get a workout sometime later this summer.
Lynn was the running backs and assistant head coach under Rex Ryan during Tyrod Taylor’s 2015 Pro Bowl season. Greg Roman was the offensive coordinator that season, and also Kaepernick’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco from 2011 to 2014.
The negative effect that the addition of Kaepernick would have on Herbert, is that Herbert would find himself fighting for the backup position. Kaepernick’s experience and fit into the offensive scheme means Herbert would have an uphill battle for the position, or even seeing the field this season.
The positive effect that the addition of Kaepernick would have on Herbert’s growth would be the ability to learn and grow. Herbert would be able to benefit from sitting behind Tyrod Taylor and Kaepernick to learn and develop.
The Chargers would be dedicated to not playing Herbert this season and working strictly on developing him to becoming the starter within the next season or two.
Kaepernick’s Effect Of Others Besides Herbert
In my opinion, the real threat by adding Kaepernick is to Easton Stick, the fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2019. Lynn has stated that they are happy with all three of their quarterbacks right now, but Kaepernick’s addition would mean Stick would be cut or moved to the practice squad.
“It would be crazy to not have him on your workout list”- Lynn, according to Lindsey Thiry, ESPN.
Tyrod Taylor, even though he has a past relationship with Coach Lynn, may also see an effect from Kaepernick being an addition to the team. Seeing that Kaepernick is a good fit for the offensive scheme means he is a solid backup for Taylor who is currently the starter.
On the other hand, if Taylor starts to have a bad season or falls to injury, Kaep would be thrust into the starting role and all eyes would be on the Los Angeles Chargers, something the organization has been longing for.
When looking at the true positive or negative outcome an addition like this would do for the development of Justin Herbert, it really just comes down to him forcibly being sat for a least a year. Which in today’s NFL landscape, would perhaps be a better move for the overall trajectory of his long-term career. So while many fans want to see Herbert start under center as soon as possible, adding Kaepernick may end up simply aiding in his development and will take some of the pressure off of the coaching staff.