Austin Davis, not Colin Kaepernick, took backup reps on the Seahawks’ practice field.
And Davis looked very much like what he was on Tuesday: In the second day of his fourth team in six years.
The veteran of 10 starts of five, mostly idling years with the Broncos, Browns and Rams, Davis threw mostly to receivers that are longshots to make the Seahawks this fall. During the 2-minute drill that ended Seattle’s fifth organized-team-activity practice in helmets and no pads, Russell Wilson ran the first drive. That ended with a great, twisting catch by Jermaine Kearse in the back of the end zone.
Trevone Boykin ran the second drive.
Davis ran into the locker room after the sunny workout ended.
And Kaepernick remained unemployed.
“He should have a job,” Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner said flatly about the former starter with the San Francisco 49ers.
Doug Baldwin said he thinks a job for Kaepernick is coming “rather quickly.” Just not in Seattle.
Davis and Kaepernick made free-agent visits with the Seahawks in the same week last month. Kaepernick, 29, is one year older than Davis. He has started a Super Bowl, plus 48 more games in his career than Davis has started.
Yet it was Davis wearing No. 6 in a red jersey while third in Seattle’s quarterback rotation, a month and a half before NFL training camps open.
“The organizations, they are going to be giving the younger quarterbacks and the younger guys the first and second look,” Baldwin said. “They know what Colin can do. They know that’s he’s a starter in this league, so they are going to give every opportunity to the young guys to compete, show their talents and then whatever falls, then he’ll get an opportunity once all this dust settles.”
That “dust” includes the fallout from Kaepernick taking knees in protest during national anthems prior to games last season. Evidence is increasing, if not irrefutable now, that Kaepernick is paying a price for those protests by NFL teams refusing to sign him to one of the league’s 64 starting or backup QB jobs.
Make no mistake, that dust also includes money.
No matter what you read and hear, Kaepernick comes at a higher cost for 2017 than Austin Davis. Period. The Seahawks and every other NFL team has a salary cap to manage and fit within, and saving money for a player they never plan on playing – in a perfect world, Wilson stays injury-free this and every year – is a business decision.
But money is only part of this story, of course.
Baldwin talked last fall with Kaepernick at the height of the national controversy over Kaepernick’s protests – and when Baldwin, a son of a veteran law-enforcement officer in Florida, was meeting with Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson and calling on all states to change the way it trains and regulates police officers in the use of excessive force.
Does Baldwin feel Kaepernick is still unsigned because he’s being blackballed by NFL teams for his protests and social activism?
“I can’t say that it doesn’t completely. I think, yeah, to some degree. But I think that’s really minor,” Baldwin said.
“There’s 32 teams out there. Not all of them fully care about all of that.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to have a job here rather quickly.”
Wagner has played against Kaepernick since he was at Utah State and Kaepernick was playing for Nevada in the same Mountain West Conference through 2010. He was incredulous over why Kaepernick isn’t employed by now, five months after he and the 49ers parted ways.
“I am surprised,” Wagner said. “There are a lot of great things about him, you know, being able to run, being able to get some throws out.
“I really don’t know why he doesn’t have a job.
“That’s really not my (expertise). You know, whenever I become a GM or owner of a team, then I will give you guys a different answer.
“But I don’t know why. He’s definitely a great player. He should have a job.”
WE ARE “A FAMILY”
Baldwin acknowledged the Seahawks “have issues in our locker room” – but said so does every team. And he said how Seattle’s deals with them in a “masterful” way is why they win.
Baldwin was asked about an ESPN article last week detailing from unnamed sources turmoil between the Seahawks’ defense and offense, with much of the anger allegedly directed at preferential treatment of Wilson.
“I think a lot of it was made about nothing, about little,” Baldwin said with a shrug.
“If I am speaking candidly, yes, do we have issues in our locker room? Do we have arguments and disagreements? Of course. Every locker room does.
“What I think makes our locker room so great is that we are transparent, is that we are upfront with each other. We do hold each other to a high standard of accountability. And, yeah, sometimes it doesn’t look, to the outside, ... healthy.”
But I think that’s why we’ve been so successful. Pete (Carroll, the coach) and John (Schneider, the general manager) have done a great job where they celebrate this individuality. They cultivate individuals. They allow us to be who we are. Because ultimately that’s going to lead us to be the best that we can be-and then, in the bigger picture, that helps our team be the best that it can be.
“Again, I think it’s a story about nothing, you know? It’s just a family dynamic that we have in our locker room. It truly is special…
“It is a fine line. It is a very fine line. And, again, to Pete (Carroll) and John (Scnheider)’s credit, they’ve created an environment that cultivates that, that pushes you to that line. But once we touch it, we always come back. We always come back to center. We always refocus.”
RB Thomas Rawls is flying during these OTAs. He’s the first to every drill. He’s yelling. He’s high-fiving everyone in sight. … None of the starting defensive backs practiced. Safeties Earl Thomas (six months removed from a broken shin) and Kam Chancellor (offseason surgery on both ankles), Sherman (rest) and DeShawn Shead (knee surgery from January) watched. … Offseason free-agent signee Luke Joeckel got more work at left guard first and left tackle second in position drills, then rested and watched Rees Odhiambo be the first- (and second-) team left guard with George Fant again the left tackle when the first-team offense ran plays. … The team has two OTA days left, Thursday and Friday. The latter day is open to the media. … The mandatory minicamp is next week, Monday through Wednesday.