A few weeks ago, I wrote something about whether or not Colin Kaepernick’s career in the NFL was finished. If he was not going to be given an opportunity to start, then the question became whether he could find a spot as a second-stringer. Since then several clearly less qualified quarterbacks have signed with teams as backups, and Kaepernick has visited with exactly one franchise, the Seahawks. To the surprise of some, Seattle passed on Kaepernick and signed Austin Davis instead. I won’t get into a comparison here between these two, but if you had to pick one of them to play QB in a game that your life depended on, trust me, there would be no choice. It would be Kaepernick.

The Seahawks began to appear a likely destination because it is a team of personalities. General Manager John Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll have demonstrated a willingness to allow, and even encourage, their players to express themselves as individuals. This dynamic sometimes comes with a cost—for example, Richard Sherman’s sideline outburst last season against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field. Although Carroll praised Kaepernick as a starting talent in this league, he still let him walk. Even the Seahawks could not break with the NFL's program to punish Kaepernick.

Perhaps more than any other sport, injuries are a part of football. Especially among quarterbacks, who frequently find themselves in vulnerable positions on the field. Because of this, there is still a chance Kaepernick will be signed somewhere. Last season, only an apparent superhuman effort allowed Russell Wilson to start all 16 games while dealing with sprains in both his knee and ankle. However, it is unrealistic to think that Wilson will keep his streak of never missing a start his entire career—backup quarterbacks matter.

The combination of position, sport, and type of offense seems to be the key. If Kaepernick were a kicker, linebacker or defensive back, he’d probably have a job. In April, the Cincinnati Bengals selected running back Joe Mixon—who was caught on video in 2014 literally breaking a woman’s face with his fist—in the second round of the NFL draft. However, for a variety of reasons, quarterback is the most important position in American team sports. In addition, the militaristic nature of football lends itself to a patriotic correctness which often seems to dismiss issues of equity and social/racial justice. The anti-introspective response sparked by Kaepernick’s kneel continues to be fanned by the flames of our times. Even the Seahawks are willing to place politics above the sport.