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If given the choice: Colin Kaepernick or Johnny Manziel in Silver & Black?

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Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

These days you probably won’t find two more lightning rod personalities in football, and perhaps all of sports, than Colin Kaepernick and Johnny Manziel. In virtually every discussion with regard to bringing in a quarterback, whether it be a starter or a backup, one or both of them inevitably comes up.

Kaepernick’s name has been brought up the most since last offseason because he has been a free agent who was actively looking to sign with a team. There are those who continue to pound the table for him to be signed and those who are tired of hearing about it.

As for Manziel, he had become a joke in most discussions. A cautionary tale of talent that was undone my character and the Browns lambasted for spending a first round pick on the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Manziel he went from punchline to thrusting himself into the conversation once again with an interview he had with Good Morning America in which he made it clear now at the age of 25 he was trying to turn his life around and training to salvage his once budding NFL career.

With that, fans and football analysts across the country began discussing whether they could see their team signing Johnny Football. And that, of course, led to Kaepernick’s introduction into the discussion.

After all, what are we talking about here? Some of the criticisms of the two quarterbacks are similar. Usually something to the affect of them being a distraction. The supposed media circus that would follow that player. Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and just generally being a social activist and Manziel for having famously partied his way out of the NFL in two years.

For Kaepernick’s part, he had a pretty successful NFL career, leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship game in consecutive seasons in 2012-13. He is not criminal or the oft used code word “thug” as some would like to label him. He started a movement. And a lot of people hate him for it. To the point where he couldn’t get signed by a team last year. He’s still just 30 years of age.

Manziel is still just 25. He is a former Heisman Trophy winner and had tremendous talent. He was an entitled brat who despite binge drinking and partying probably several times a week, managed to have incredible success at the college level. Some thought he would leave those partying ways in college. He did not. And in the pros, you can’t both party and be a successful quarterback. He also had Domestic Violence chargers brought against him, but the charges were dropped when he agreed to take anger management classes.

One of those who liked Manziel coming out of college was Jon Gruden. He raved about Manziel’s abilities, mostly his mental skills, saying “It’s well worth rolling the dice” for the Texans to take him at number one overall that year. The Texans ended up going with Jadeveon Clowney with that top pick. He said the same of the Raiders at pick number five who went with Khalil Mack. Manziel was eventually chosen at 22 overall as the second QB taken.

In the four seasons since then, the Browns have gotten progressively worse, finally leading to a winless season last season. While the Raiders selections of Mack at 5th overall and Derek Carr at 36th overall look like genius moves, leading to their return to the playoffs after the 2016 season.

Now they’re looking for a veteran reserve for Carr. By most any measure, Kaepernick is the better option. While Manziel looks like a trial run in the CFL might be good for him. But Manziel has that mystery ‘What if?’ factor. What if he really is ready to be an NFL QB? What if Gruden was right about his talents?

So...

Poll

Who would you rather see in a Raiders uniform?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Colin Kaepernick
    (950 votes)
  • 12%
    Johnny Manziel
    (405 votes)
  • 3%
    I’d take either one
    (120 votes)
  • 30%
    Neither, but if I had to pick one: Kaepernick
    (1021 votes)
  • 24%
    Neither, but I had to pick one: Manziel
    (811 votes)
3307 votes total Vote Now