Nate Peterman began the year as Buffalo Bills starting quarterback. By week two he was a back-up. Again. Even after injuries decimated the Bills, the Florida-native only made one more start. His season and career reached an all-time low last week when the Bills released him and didn’t pick up his practice squad option.
So what I hear you ask? Well, there was no surprise that Peterman struggled in the NFL, after all he was nothing more than a mediocre college quarterback with a history of turning the ball over. Despite this, the Bills drafted him 171st in 2017 hoping to uncover a gem. Later that season Peterman debuted in a game where he threw five interceptions – more than anyone in a debut ever– in the first half of a heavy 54-24 defeat.
Peterman’s career showed little improvement throwing just three touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Alas, Peterman’s career is far from over. Unfortunately, the NFL has this weird way of keeping average players around just because they once played for a team and someone will pick up him up if only as a roster filler. Peterman’s current career stats paint a sorry picture of a player out of his depth but does it also point to teams deliberately leaving a player on the sidelines because of his political protests?
The quirk of being re-employed happens for most, but not those who lift their head above the parapet – especially so if it irks the White House.
Colin Kaepernick is currently putting together a legal case arguing that the NFL owners colluded against re-hiring him. Kaepernick famously started a league-wide protest, by sitting during the National Anthem in protest of how US society “oppresses black people and people of colour”.
The protest is still in effect lasting longer than the rest of Kaepernick’s career, although the TV no longer highlights the players choosing to kneel.
So what more evidence will his lawyers need than the career of Peterman? Kaepernick was never a favourite player of mine, and even in his crusade, I question his overall motives after he declined meetings with civil rights leaders. But his record speaks for itself. The former 49ers passer is superior in every sense – 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions – and he has a quality that Peterman doesn’t, he’s a locker room leader.
Kaepernick’s lawyers need no more than the long list of substandard players who have been added around the league, while a player who was minutes away from winning the Super Bowl has been banished to the scrap heap. If the Bills organisation, like others around the league, want to win them, look at the upgrade sitting in the stands pleading for a chance to show he is more than a protest.
The New Orleans Saints looked in play-off form with a 48-7 win as they all but ended any chance the Philadelphia Eagles had retaining their championship. The Eagles have fallen well short of the standards they set last season.
The NFC West is competitive for at least one more week as the Seattle Seahawks held on to beat the Green Bay Packers 27-24. This was the start of a weekend that had ten games with less than a touchdown separating them.
Ben Roethlisberger dived over for a touchdown in the dying seconds as Pittsburgh Steelers came from a 16-0 deficit to win 20-16. The Houston Texans continued their turnaround with a seventh win in a row.
The loss was not the worst thing to happen for Washington as quarterback Alex Smith’s season ended with a gruesome broken leg, leaving them with journeyman Colt McCoy under Centre for the rest of the season.
The Denver Broncos kicked a field goal as time ran out to beat the LA Chargers, bringing their winning streak to an end. The Oakland Raiders picked up their second win of the season taking down fellow strugglers Arizona Cardinals.
That result leaves three teams on two wins and six other teams just a win ahead.
This is important as the worst placed team gets first pick of the college players in the draft.