Pete Carroll: Colin Kaepernick remains starting-caliber QB

PHOENIX -- Pete Carroll has coached against Colin Kaepernick nine times in the NFL, and Seattle Seahawks head man said Wednesday that he believes the quarterback should still be considered a starter.

"I think he is a starter. That's what he's been," Carroll said. "We've really seen him at his best, and we've seen him be a very difficult factor to deal with. The last couple of years, the offense has been changing, and they've had new coaches and all kinds of stuff.

"I don't think he's found that level that he found when he was with Jim [Harbaugh] that they were really on it. But it's there to be had, and I think he's a difficult guy to play against. We've always found that. We've given respect to that whenever we've had to play them."

Carroll added that he thinks Kaepernick will eventually find a team, and he doesn’t believe the quarterback is being blackballed.

“A lot of quarterbacks are out there right now, so I don't think that's accurate at this point,” Carroll said.

“He’s up against it like all the other [unsigned] quarterbacks right now -- what is the right opportunity? He’s as capable as any of those guys of turning a team around and playing great football. He has done it before. He’s been to the Super Bowl. He’s been a championship player. He’s got his style that best suits him, and some team will find it. I don’t know where that’s going to happen, but I think the dominoes will start falling when the first guy goes. Tony [Romo] has been out there and anything can happen. And when these guys start going, I think it’ll go quick.”

The Seahawks are looking for a backup quarterback behind Russell Wilson. On some levels, looking into Kaepernick would make sense. Given his mobility, the Seahawks wouldn’t have to change any of the zone-read elements in their offense if Wilson were to go down.

And many in the Seahawks’ locker room -- Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Jeremy Lane -- voiced support for Kaepernick’s social activism last year.

On the other hand, Kaepernick will likely be a pricier investment than the Seahawks are looking for, and he might want to go to a team where he’ll actually have a chance to compete for playing time.

"We consider everybody," Carroll said. "We look at everybody."