This past year, we were treated to the meteoric rise of Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He went from backup to overtaking Alex Smith midway through the season as the starter en route to leading the 49ers all the way to a Super Bowl berth. But, there was another Bay Area team that was seriously interested in procuring his services.
According to one story, the Raiders really wanted to draft Kaepernick in 2011, but never had the chance. Their first round pick had already been shipped to the New England Patriots as part of the Richard Seymour trade. Their second round pick came in at No. 48 overall, but that was too late. The San Francisco 49ers already scooped up Kaepernick at No. 36 after Oakland’s cross-bridge rival made a deal with Denver to trade up in the draft.
Then-Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and Colin Kaepernick himself both confirmed the story of Oakland’s interest. Via RealGM:
“I think about it all the time, believe me,” Hue Jackson on Sunday. “No question in my mind we wanted it to happen, and no question I thought it could happen. We wanted the kid in the worst way.”
“Coach Jackson told me before the draft they were going to do everything they could to try to get me,” said Kaepernick. “I thought there was a good chance they’d pick me. I never heard anything from the 49ers before the draft after I worked out for them [at Nevada]. I just figured they weren’t interested.”
But as it turns out, the 49ers were quite interested, and their acquisition of Kaepernick has gone quite well. Meanwhile, the Raiders missed out, and have been through two starting quarterbacks (Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor) since Kaepernick’s drafting, and will be starting a third this year (Matt Flynn or Tyler Wilson).
Just another sad chapter in the Raiders story that has seen them go from Super Bowl contender in 2002 to having missed the playoffs ten straight seasons, without even a single winning season in that decade-long span of futility.