Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, yet his campaign to rejoin the league hasn’t stopped with his latest statements.
You’re going to have your stance on former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. That’s fine. Not here to change that, and we probably wouldn’t have any luck if we tried anyway.
Regardless of your stance, Kaepernick is still looking to make a return to the NFL after being out of it and unsigned since 2016 when his Niners finished an abysmal 2-14. While that has led some to think Kap “didn’t have it anymore,” one has to recall he did toss 16 touchdowns against four interceptions on a roster boasting almost entirely C-list players and backups, many of whom were out of the league the following season.
After a series of workouts with current and former players alike, along with a showing alongside former San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh, coaching at the University of Michigan’s spring game, Kap is now taking an additional step towards expressing further desire for a team to sign him.
Colin Kaepernick tells ‘I Am Athlete’ podcast to ‘let me compete’
Kaepernick recently appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast with with former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson and Pacman Jones, and Marshall elected to play the part of a general manager, asking some of the questions many a fan wondered about teams’ desires (or hesitancies) of signing Kap.
Whether you agree or not, Kaepernick had a pretty straightforward answer:
"You have “End Racism’ in the back of your end zone. You have “Black Lives Matter” on your helmet. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly. It’s a $16 billion business. When I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1 (in sales). When I did the deal with Nike, their value increased by six billion dollars. Six billion, with a B.So if you’re talking about the business side, it shows beneficial. If you’re talking about the playing side, come in, let me compete. You can evaluate me from there. The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. If I’m not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you."
A couple of takeaways from this. Perhaps Kaepernick is essentially telling the NFL to “put its money where it’s mouth is” with regards to their social-justice initiatives, which is a discussion in itself. Or he might be wanting to finally get in line with it, too, considering the league wasn’t exactly sharing his stance way back when his on-field protests first started in 2016.
The main takeaway, however, is the fact he still wants to play. And whether or not you support Kap, perhaps the idea of him at least being given a shot (even as a backup) would have its merits.
If he’s no good, that’s that. End of story.
Will Colin Kaepernick ever rejoin NFL?
This is another tough question to ask.
If you can, try taking out your thoughts on his protests and social-justice movements for a second. There’s no getting around the fact he hasn’t played for a team since 2016.
That’s a long time. The league has changed since then.
Now 34 years old, the point where many a quarterback is entering the late stages of his career, Kaepernick is looking to stage a comeback. Is it impossible? Absolutely not. There have been plenty of quarterbacks who haven’t tossed a pass or have even been out of the league who wind up returning in some fashion or another.
Remember the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2021 experiment with one-time NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, turned tight end?
OK, so that didn’t work out for Tebow so well, and one could argue it was a publicity stunt under former head coach Urban Meyer more than anything else. But Tebow got his chance.
As a starter, at least right now, Kaepernick’s options are awfully limited. As a candidate for a backup quarterback on a 90-man offseason roster, though, that’s a different story.
Mixing in everything else, though, it does make sense how the waters get murkier. For those hoping Kaepernick signs somewhere, there’s still hope. For those hoping he doesn’t, there’s still a strong chance of that, too.
Hat top to USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes for the find.