The team announced it has signed free-agent quarterback Austin Davis, who spent time on the Denver Broncos‘ roster last season but has not appeared in a regular-season game since the 2015 season finale as a member of the Cleveland Browns.
The Seahawks brought in Kaepernick on a visit last week — the one NFL team to do so this offseason — but didn’t offer him a contract. Head coach Pete Carroll did not close the door on Kaepernick signing in the future at that time (and even had nice things to say about him), but the Davis signing appears to close that door firmly now.
“Colin has been a fantastic has been a fantastic football player and he’s going to continue to be. At this time we didn’t do anything with it,” Carroll said. “But we know where he is and who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so.”
Carroll called Kaepernick a starting-caliber QB. We’ll be curious to hear what he thinks of Davis.
“[Kaepernick is] a starter in this league. We have a starter [Russell Wilson],” Carroll said. “But he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine someone won’t give him a chance to play.”
Just leaving this here, even though the logic feels a bit … odd.
#Seahawks sign Austin Davis as their vet QB they've sought, because he's a backup & team sees Colin Kaepernick as a starter it doesn't need
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) June 5, 2017
Of note: Immediately following the Davis news breaking, Kaepernick RTed two tweets on whether this might have been a salary-related move by the Seahawks.
So perhaps this move has as much to do with Wilson as it does anything else. By signing Davis instead of Kaepernick, it’s not a stretch to assume that there isn’t some real truth about the ESPN story that suggested the team has coddled Wilson too much. By bringing in a potential backup in Davis with no real chance of putting any pressure on Wilson — versus Kaepernick, who Carroll says he regarded as “starter”-caliber — it might lend even more credence to this working theory.
Davis has started 10 NFL games — two with the Browns in 2015, and eight with the St. Louis Rams in 2014, his second season in the NFL. In his five NFL seasons (13 appearances), Davis has completed 62.4 percent of his passes (236-for-378) for 2,548 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, taking a whopping 40 sacks.
His best NFL game was in 2014 against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he completed 29 of 49 passes for 375 yards and three TD passes, with 30 of his 69 career rush yards also coming in that 34-28 loss. Davis also had an incredibly efficient game against the Seahawks that season, completing 17 of 20 passes for 155 yards and two TDs in a 28-26 upset victory.
Davis also beat Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers toward the end of that season, although neither QB played very well that day in the 13-10 Rams victory. Kaepernick took eight sacks, and Davis threw two interceptions.
This is also a quarterback who now has been let go the past two seasons by two teams that were unsettled at quarterback. Although Davis has people in the NFL who think highly of him, there’s a reason he didn’t attempt a pass last season.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick continues to wait. And there’s no clear landing spot for him on the immediate horizon.
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