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Raiders Free Agency Rumors: Colin Kaepernick returns to the NFL?

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, but Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland could see the former 49ers quarterback back in the league.

At least that’s what the San Francisco Chronicle thinks should happen.

Scott Ostler says Colin Kaepernick would be an upgrade over the Raiders backup quarterbacks, EJ Manuel and Connor Cook. He’s not wrong.

Kaepernick has 40 more career starts than Manuel and Cook combined. Kaepernick has a better touchdown and interception percentage, higher yards per attempt and a better completion percentage than Manuel. Cook has one career appearance in the regular season.

With Derek Carr suffering injuries, the Raiders have needed a competent backup in each of the last two seasons. After Carr broke his leg in 2016, Cook started the Raiders first playoff game since 2002. He went 18 of 45 for 161 yards in a loss.

Manuel got the call for five quarters this past season, with Carr out due to a back injury. The Raiders went 0-2, as Manuel completed just 56 percent of his passes.

Kaepernick would be an upgrade to the Raiders roster. But Oakland is not alone in that regard. Most NFL teams would improve their backup (or even starting) quarterback with Kaepernick.

He brings more baggage than that. Or at least perceived baggage, as he is the face of the NFL’s anthem kneeling.

Ostler points out that Gruden is “too busy with football to worry about politics”. If that is true, Kaepernick is a better football option for the Raiders than Cook and Manuel.

Tyler Bischoff hosts Coaches Corner on AM 720 KDWN Monday through Friday at 6:00 pm.