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Could Bills pursue Colin Kaepernick if he becomes available?

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With rumors that the 49ers quarterback might be released, could the Bills look to bolster their options behind Tyrod Taylor?

Amidst the continued backlash regarding his decision to sit down during the national anthem before San Francisco’s last two preseason games, it’s 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s on-field struggles that may soon leave him looking for a new team. His potential release could be of interest to the Buffalo Bills.

Though his protests have managed to garner significant national attention, his play on the field has been lacking since he lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert midway through the 2015 campaign.

While Kaepernick was afforded the opportunity to compete with Gabbert for the starting nod under new head coach Chip Kelly, the 28-year-old has failed to impress more often than not during the preseason. After three offseason surgeries to his shoulder, knee, and thumb, and a period of “dead arm” during camp, Kaepernick has missed time and was limited prior to playing in the club’s final preseason game last night.

In his first extensive action of the preseason, Kaepernick went 11-18 for 103 yards against San Diego’s backups. He also rushed four times for 38 yards. Although his performance wasn’t terrible, it also wasn’t reflective of a quarterback that is set to earn $11.9 million this coming season.

As a result, according to Fox’s Jay Glazer, Kaepernick’s chances at making the 49ers 53-man roster are potentially in danger.

Here’s what Glazer had to say about the sixth-year quarterback this past Sunday:

“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team. I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has doing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”

With the possibility that Kaepernick may soon hit the open market, The Buffalo News’ Vic Carucci speculated that the quarterback may be an option for the Bills considering Kaepernick’s connection to current Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Roman, who served as the 49ers offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2014, coached Kaepernick during the quarterback’s best seasons as a pro.

After taking over as San Francisco’s starter during the 2012 season, Kaepernick posted three-straight above-average seasons as a passer (QBR’s of 69.0, 65.9, and 60.2) and remained one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL. However, after Roman (and head coach Jim Harbaugh) departed San Francisco, Kaepernick regressed considerably and was replaced by Gabbert.

Despite all of the negatives that might result in Kaepernick’s release, the quarterback could be an interesting flier for the Bills as a backup to starter Tyrod Taylor. Although he’s certainly not worth the hefty salary he’s guaranteed to make this year, the peaks in Kaepernick’s career are certainly higher than current backup EJ Manuel. However, it’s entirely possible that many in the NFL believe the chances of Kaepernick revisiting those highs are unlikely.

Even if the Bills do express interest in bringing Kaepernick to Buffalo, they could potentially face competition, particularly from the Minnesota Vikings. After losing starter Teddy Bridgewater for the season with a non-contact injury suffered during Tuesday’s practice, the Vikings could look to pursue the 49ers quarterback to compete with veteran Shaun Hill and undrafted free agent Joel Stave.