NFL teams might not think Colin Kaepernick belongs in the league, but their players do.
At least that’s what the results of a new poll which was conducted by The Athletic over the past six weeks seem to indicate.
Carried out by the outlet’s beat writers, the poll surveyed 85 defensive players spread across 25 teams about the state of the quarterback position in the NFL. And, even though he isn’t currently in the league, Kaepernick was the focus of a pair of poll questions.
The first simply asked respondents if Kaepernick should be on an NFL roster in general. Of the 85 players surveyed, 81 (95 percent) answered in the affirmative. Two players voted no, and two declined to comment.
“This question was phrased in a way to ask whether Kaepernick, who has been unemployed since 2017 and has filed a collusion suit against the NFL, saying he has been blackballed because of his social justice protests, should be on a roster, not whether he should be a starter,” according to The Athletic. “The response was overwhelmingly in Kaepernick’s favor.”
The second Kaepernick-related query asked players which NFL quarterback they would replace with Kaepernick if it were an option.
The top answer was Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (20 percent), followed by Nathan Peterman (18 percent).
Signal-callers Eli Manning, Josh Allen, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, and Josh Rosen also received multiple votes.
Though those quarterbacks, besides Peterman, are all starters three players specifically noted that if Kaepernick were to be signed to a roster “he’d be a backup.”