EA Sports: You can now sign Colin Kaepernick as a free agent in Madden 21

EA Sports: You can now sign Colin Kaepernick as a free agent in Madden 21

The news here isn’t that they’re adding him to the game, it’s that they’re adding him and giving him an overall rating of 81 despite the fact that he hasn’t played in the league in four years. That makes him superior to half the starting QBs in the NFL, equal in skill to Ben Roethlisberger and slightly more skilled than Cam Newton.

Does this mean Blaine Gabbert is an 82?

Given all of the attention paid to him as an activist, I think it’d be weird to have him as a pure player at this point with no woke distractions. At a minimum, EA should have him wear his police-as-pigs socks while on the field. Maybe there’ll be a cheat code in which you can get him to kneel.

What do they mean when they say you can put him “at the helm” of any team? Just that you can make him the QB for any squad you want, or is there some sort of “Kaepenick as GM” mode where he assembles the wokest team the league has ever seen?

Madden is supposed to be a realistic football simulation but, uh…

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, a sense emerged that Colin Kaepernick was right all along, and that the process of moving forward would necessarily entail putting Kaepernick back in the NFL. The momentum was palpable, at least for a little while.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there was some “fake” interest expressed immediately after Floyd’s death, seemingly out of guilt. There has been zero interest expressed as to Kaepernick “in months.”

At one point along the way, NFL Media reported that teams had contacted “friends and associates” of Kaepernick, and that they would be contacting his agent when they “get to the point where they’re confident enough that they think they can work out a contract.” So either they never got to the point of confidence that they can work out a contract, or it was all just more bullshit.

Supposedly two teams in the AFC took a look at him a few months ago before passing. As each new season comes and goes and he gets older and rustier, it gets that much easier for franchises to say “It’s too late now.” We’ll have to make do with Madden 21 highlights on YouTube. Lefties will upload virtual Kaep’s most electrifying runs and passes, righties will upload the most electrifying examples of him being savagely gang-tackled.

I’m trying to take EA’s interest in him at face value but it’s hard not to notice that this announcement is being made at a moment of very, very bad press for the game:

A user rating of 0.2 on Metacritic feels almost like an achievement. Spend a few minutes scrolling through the user reviews, as they’re relentlessly vicious even by the standards of daily Internet commentary. If EA’s looking for a political stunt to rekindle interest in its football franchise, they might as well add Trump as a free agent QB too.

Exit question: Is this real?

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John Sexton 3:20 PM on September 26, 2023