The Colts need offensive linemen, receivers and a bunch of help on defense. But they believe Andrew Luck is the truth. They’re committed to him long term, and their mission is to build around him.
Derek Carr was an MVP candidate before he got hurt, mainly because of the toughness and leadership he showed late in games. He doesn’t rate statistically with some of the guys higher on this list — he ranked 16th in the league in Total QBR — but he has improved every season and offers the Raiders reason to be confident in him long term. Carr is another quarterback who’s likely to get a big contract extension this offseason.
Of course, Kaepernick drew more attention for what happened before games than during them last season. His decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality made him a polarizing figure, though he wasn’t a distraction to his teammates, who voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers player who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont.” The award is thought to be the most prestigious in-house honor a player can receive.
Lynch indicated Thursday that the decision on Kaepernick’s future will be mostly about football, but did acknowledge that many things would be taken into account.
“It will be a football decision, but I think part of that, there’s different layers to that,” Lynch said. “So I think everything will be included in the decision. I’m not talking specifically about his stance, though. I think you have a quarterback, the great ones are leaders of men, so I think all of those things will be taken into account. I’m looking forward to sitting down with him, I really am.”