For those you wondering why the Cleveland Browns, an organization that has been in the quarterback market since its return to the league in 1999, would not be interested in Colin Kaepernick, star left tackle Joe Thomas has offered an explanation

On the surface Thomas’ reasoning makes a lot of sense, but recent history suggests that it’s simply not true. NFL teams have been willing to accept some distractions from their backup quarterbacks, especially if that quarterback has shown any amount of potential, as Kaepernick so clearly has during his NFL career.

Just two years ago, the Eagles signed Tim Tebow, who brings hoards of media with him wherever he goes, to be their third-string quarterback. And it’s not like Tebow didn’t get a ton of chances to win a backup job elsewhere. The Patriots, coached by Bill Belichick, who notoriously does not put up with so-called “distractions” in his locker room, gave Tebow a chance to be a backup behind Tom Brady. Before his short stint in New England, the Jets actually traded for Tebow despite having a franchise quarterback (at least that’s what they thought at the time) in Mark Sanchez.

Before Tebow, the media’s favorite quarterback to cover was Michael Vick. The dude was the biggest story in sports after he was arrested and spent 18 months in prison for his role in an illegal dog fighting ring. Vick would not only be a media distraction, but he’d also attract plenty of protesters who didn’t feel he deserved to be in the NFL. But that didn’t stop the Eagles from giving him a two-year deal to play behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. And it didn’t stop the Jets and Steelers from signing him to be their backup years later.

Those are the two big examples in recent history, but there have plenty of other smaller distractions who have landed contracts…