San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (left) kneels during the National Anthem next to quarterback Colin Kaepernick (right). (AP Photo/ Mike McCarn)

Would Colin Kaepernick help or hurt a team in need?

Here we are, on the eve of another NFL season, and a bunch of teams have no chance because they have lousy quarterbacking. Teams like the Ravens and Dolphins, both playoff contenders, have starting QBs who are out indefinitely.

Despite having a 3-16 record as a starter for the lowly 49ers the last two years, Colin Kaepernick is better than a half-dozen guys who will start this season. Last year, he threw 16 touchdowns and four interceptions for a 90.7 passer rating, which ranked No. 17 in the NFL and better than Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco.

Flacco has a back injury which could plague him all season, and the Ravens have a chance to sign Kaepernick. Supposedly, the coach and general manager want to do it, but the owner is against it. That may be the NFL’s unofficial position on Kaepernick, who has refused to stand up for the National Anthem in protest over social injustice in this country.

Ryan Tannehill re-injured his knee during the Dolphins’ first week of practice and may require season-ending surgery. The team needs at least a back-up QB, if not a starter, to challenge for a wild card spot. But Miami, a city with a vocal Cuban population, is rightfully skittish about signing Kaepernick after he wore a Fidel Castro t-shirt in public.

But here is the question for the Ravens, the Dolphins, and other teams going into 2017 with serious quarterback issues: Can Kaepernick help their team on the field? If he can, then he will be accepted by his teammates and most fans. If he can’t, he’ll likely get cut and will no longer be a problem.

Kaepernick has the right to express his opinion, and the NFL may want to blackball him because slipping TV ratings are tied to the political undercurrent caused by Kaepernick. But is that a reason not to sign him if he can help a team?

After all, he did take the 49ers to within inches of a Super Bowl victory four years ago. He can help some team, so some team should sign him. If he is successful, he can lay down for the anthem and it won’t matter much, because winning is still the name of the game in the NFL.