The Name Blame (NFL Free Agency)

Ab Stanley

The Name Blame
What’s in a name? Your name is your title, your introduction to the world. A title like anything else has other things associated with it. Your name (bring a title) should then bring up memories good and bad to whom it may concern. One person might hear your name and say a curse word. Others might hear a rave about how great of a person you are. Whatever the case may be, you have to understand as you go through life your name and what it means to people takes you a long way in reaching your goals.


Photo courtesy of Gerry Melendez for ESPN

Colin Kaepernick

What if I told you there was a free agent quarterback that hadn’t been signed yet that played in only 21 games (19 starts) in the past two seasons. The same guy had a combined (two seasons) 340 completions for 3,856 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Not very good numbers to say the least. Now, I tell you those numbers belong to Colin Kaepernick and all of sudden your opinion changes.

Now you think of silent protests and controversy. Now you think of how bad the San Francisco 49ers were the past two seasons. You remember how he lost his job to Blaine Gabbert. If you were a general manager or a team president, how long would you look at his numbers. How many times would you look at games from the 2013 season when Kaepernick looked like the next big thing at quarterback? What if we took his name away and just listed him as a free agent 6’4″ 230 lbs quarterback with a strong arm and running ability only 29 years of age and has led his team to one Superbowl appearance?

That sounds terrific right? Even if you add the previous two seasons, it still sounds like if your a general manager you have to check this guy out right? Wrong, his name is Colin Kaepernick. Every executive with the role of player personnel only sees baggage. They’re weighing it versus a price tag. When you bring all that to the table, other options just seem more viable. A rookie with room for growth and plenty of upside, a veteran that complies with all team rules and keeps quiet all sounds like better options. It’s almost sad, there are other quarterbacks who have gotten jobs because they don’t have all that drama attached to their name. The problem is they don’t have all the ability and accolades either. At the end of the day, Kaepernick is gonna have to wait in line for a job but his accomplishments doesn’t deserve that. His name however will require him to be a “good boy” and not cause anymore drama if he wants to work again in the NFL.


Photo courtesy of

Adrian Peterson

What if I told you there was a free agent running back who is 32, that hasn’t gotten a job yet who last year played in all of three games and had 37 carried for 72 yards. Doesn’t sound that great does it? Now I tell you he’s is 16th all time in rushing yards (11,747  on 2,418 carries) and has already had a 2,000-yard season and an MVP award. Sounds much better huh?

Now I say that player’s name is Adrian Peterson and we get that roller coaster of different feelings again. Will the executives around the league think of the warrior who came back from a catastrophic knee injury to lead the league in rushing? Will it be the Peterson that was suspended in 2014 for a child abuse scandal? Peterson is in a much different position than Kaepernick.

Sure his past has some controversy in it but the reason he hasn’t signed yet is he’s Adrian Peterson. You can’t just give him a bag of crap and say come play for our team. With all those accomplishments, it seem teams might stay away from a 32 year old running back if they have to pay close to ten million dollars a year and cater their offense to a guy chasing history. Adrian Peterson might have to take a (Massive) pay cut to play running back in the NFL again. At this point, does he have anything left to contribute or will it just be a media storm of questions?


Photo courtesy of SFGate

Joe Mixon

There’s a running back entering the NFL draft with hopes of being a high draft pick. He rushed for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Oklahoma Sooners last season. Scouts will tell you he has good vision and speed, shifty movements that allows him to change directions to make tacklers miss and good pass catching ability out of the backfield. A 6’1″ 226 pounds of hardcore running back definitely worth a first round pick. Then I tell you his name is Joe Mixon (oh boy) and you can feel your enthusiasm starting to curve (more like fade entirely).

Forget asking the question, executives (fans too) will automatically remember him throwing a devastating right hook, knocking out a female student to the floor. At this point, the question is should he even be eligible to play in the NFL much less go high in the draft. That round one status, he can forget that. Everything associated with the name Joe Mixon right now is a red flag. Will the fallout from this act of cowardness hinder his career? No doubt at first.

Sure he can go on to prove to be a model citizen who made one terrible mistake. He can also go on to be a malcontent (Greg Hardy ring a bell) who just started showing us who he really was that night. In any event, his name will be scarred by this forever. In just a few short weeks, we will find out how hard his career takes a hit.


These guys mentioned are just a few. Every and anybody has something attached to their name. The key is to keep good thoughts around it. Will people want to associate themselves with you or will they want to go in another direction?

Whether you want too much money, just speaking up for yourself and your community or just plain did something wrong, your name is your title and your introduction to the world. Not everyone will like it but they will at least know what to expect.

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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