At 35, Colin Kaepernick Still Waiting For Another Chance
At 35 years old, Colin Kaepernick still wants back into the NFL.
His most recent workout was prior to last season with the Las Vegas Raiders.
The former San Francisco quarterback was a free agent back in 2017 and hasn’t played a down of football since.
His 2016 year as a Niner was his last, as the protests of kneeing during the national anthem were what started off his departure from professional football. These were also a call to action against police violence against Black communities, as Kaepernick has not had an official offer from a team other than workouts.
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The veteran passer has still kept busy with other venues, as he published a children’s book and a Netflix documentary on his life back in 2021. He is still training, waiting for the opportunity while still in shape, as he was interviewed by Sports Illustrated recently.
I’m going to keep pushing. I’m going to keep fighting for it because I know I can step on the field and play. Every workout, every opportunity I’ve had to show that, the feedback has always been positive. Everything from, ‘He’s still an elite player,’ to ‘The workout was great; it was better than expected.’ When I had my workout with the Raiders last year, even training with guys, there was a decent amount of people who may have forgotten what I was capable of doing on the field, so any chance to be able to remind people of what I can do out there, I look forward to and embrace, and I look forward to the day that I get to step on the field and show people what I can do.
Kaepernick also mentions quarterbacks he wants to play against, as Patrick Mahomes is his favorite player to watch.
“Mahomes tops the list,” Kaepernick said when asked which quarterbacks he likes to watch. “Jalen Hurts, what he did last year, really coming into his own. You look at Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen. A lot of very talented quarterbacks out there playing at high levels. I’m excited to see them continue to do their thing, and I hope I get to stand on the opposing sideline and go toe to toe with them.”
The workout Kaepernick did with the Raiders last year went well apparently but no offer was given. Teams were at his public and private workouts, but it’s been radio silence for years in terms of interest.
“When I had my workout with the Raiders last year, even training with guys, there’s a decent amount of people who may have forgotten what I was capable of doing on the field,” Kaepernick said. “So any chance to be able to remind people of what I can do out there, I look forward to and embrace, and I look forward to the day that I get to step on the field and show people what I can do.”
His career path diverted after he took a knee, as he’s been an American civil rights activist that has made over $20 million for the seasons he hasn’t played in. Only playing six seasons in the NFL, Kaepernick earned this much due to the NFL’s settlement, his ongoing Nike endorsement deal and his previous Netflix contract.
“Obviously, there’s something else within this decision,” Kaepernick said of why he can’t even get a workout. “To me, that’s typically what it ends up being, or has been for the last seven years. So, I just want the opportunity to come in and show what I can do on the field. Judge me based upon that, not the political bias that you have.”
The former San Francisco quarterback’s best season was the Niner’s Super Bowl run in 2012, as he excelled with head coach Jim Harbaugh. Once he left, the field Kaepernick statistically struggled in a bad situation, and was not the same player under one-year tenure head coaches Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.
“I’ve heard a lot of excuses over the years, but most of the time it ends up, ‘Oh, we’re going to see how the guys that we have to do.’ With the Raiders’ situation last year, that was Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens, which to me, you just compare résumés and capabilities, on top of the workout and the feedback, it’s like, ‘OK, cool.'”
Even if he was throwing 60-yard bombs in private workouts for teams previously and is fit enough to play, Kaepernick is still on the outside looking in by a wide margin. A team signing a quarterback at his age plus the baggage would likely not be worth the media headache, so more waiting will likely be in the cards for Kaepernick on a potential NFL comeback.
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