Colin Kaepernick, right, and Blaine Gabbert are shown with the 49ers in 2015. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s safe to say that the Arizona Cardinals have a bit of a quarterback problem. The team has Carson Palmer coming back, but likely for just one more year, and in any event, he’s 37 and has an extensive history of major injuries.

Arizona passed on drafting a quarterback (it did add Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight as an undrafted free agent), meaning that, going into Wednesday, all the team had backing up Palmer was the uninspiring tandem of Drew Stanton and Zac Dysert. But the Cards addressed that pressing concern when they surveyed the free agent landscape and, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, acquired the talents of … Blaine Gabbert.

Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick remains out of work. You know, the same Colin Kaepernick who has had a vastly better career than Gabbert, and who decisively outplayed the latter last season, when both were with the 49ers.

In other words, we may have our clearest evidence yet that NFL teams simply are not interested in signing Kaepernick, an apparent blackballing that can only be attributed to his political activism and, specifically, the protests of the national anthem in which he engaged last season. That certainly was the opinion Wednesday of San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami, a longtime analyst of the Bay Area sports scene who went on a tweet storm to express his dismay at the Cardinals’ choice.

In light of expectations that Gabbert was likely signing for the veteran’s minimum, Kawakami noted that there was “no evidence that Kaepernick is trying to get an unreasonable deal.” In addition, he said that there was “no evidence” that Kaepernick, who opted out of a contract with San Francisco that could have paid him over $16 million in salary and bonuses, is “demanding a starting job.”

Kawakami told his Twitter followers, “I know Kaepernick wants to work because I’ve talked to people who know Kaepernick.” That was a direct reference to a story in which MMQB’s Peter King wrote, “I spent a long draft weekend with the Niners in California, and there are those in the building who think Kaepernick might actually rather do social justice work full-time than play quarterback.”

King also wrote, “If I were a pro scout or a GM with a starting or backup quarterback need, I’d be on a plane to New York to have lunch with Kaepernick to ask him where he sees his life going. And if he sees a football future, and if I had a great quarterback coach [Sean McVay with the Rams, Bruce Arians in Arizona], I’d sign him to an incentive-laden contract. Right now.”

Instead, Arians cast his lot with Gabbert, who not only has never taken a team to the Super Bowl, unlike Kaepernick, but who has rarely looked like anything but a gigantic draft bust since the Jaguars made him the 10th overall pick in 2011. Meanwhile, Kawakami’s comments echoed those of Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, who sought to systematically debunk some non-blackball theories that have been offered to explain Kaepernick’s lack of employment.

As for concerns that the 29-year-old quarterback isn’t at full strength, following a series of injuries and a switch to a vegan diet, Robinson wrote, “A source familiar with Kaepernick’s offseason workouts told Yahoo Sports the QB has recovered to his playing weight of 230 pounds and is also fully recovered from all his past surgeries.  In short, he’s feeling 100 percent healthy and willing to showcase the arm strength and movement to prove it.”

Robinson also pointed out Wednesday that Kaepernick has not discussed contract terms with any NFL team, let alone made excessive salary demands, and that he played well enough last season to clearly merit a job, if not necessarily as a starter. As with Kawakami, Robinson cited the MMQB article, noting that while “Kaepernick’s social activism is important to him,” the quarterback “hasn’t been arrested.”

“There’s no video of him punching a woman in the face or sucking down bong hits through a gas mask,” Robinson added. “He’s not in the league’s drug-testing program and has never been suspended for PED use.”

Moreover, Kaepernick has indicated that he will stand during renditions of the anthem, discontinuing his protests that caused so many headlines last season. His former 49ers coach, Jim Harbaugh, said in March that Kapernick will “have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships,” but so far, there have been no takers.

Maybe NFL teams really are worried about getting a disapproving tweet from President Trump?

Kaepernick could still get a job in the NFL, of course, but opportunities are drying up, and the league’s calendar soon will start working against him, as teams install their offenses in offseason practices. Wednesday marked a noteworthy moment on that calendar, as it was the first day teams could sign an unrestricted free agent without that player’s previous team receiving a compensatory draft pick, but it appears that Kaepernick, who has already waited through the start of free agency and the draft, will have to cool his heels a little while longer.

That wasn’t the case for lesser quarterback talents, such as Nick Foles (Eagles), Matt Barkley (49ers), Ryan Mallett (Ravens) and Case Keenum (Vikings), all of whom found teams willing to sign them. Mike Glennon, who has worse numbers than Kaepernick in several significant categories, received a $45 million contract from the Bears. Then there are all the veteran journeymen, such as 38-year-old Josh McCown (Jets), 36-year-old Matt Schaub (Falcons) and 33-year-old Kellen Clemens (Chargers), who were not deemed too long in the teeth to be of use.

Add Gabbert, now, to the roll call. And add his signing by the Cardinals, who had every reason to roll the dice on Kaepernick’s greater upside, to the mounting list of evidence that the NFL simply wants no part of the league’s foremost social activist.