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Monday, November 18, 2019

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick workout moved to allow media to attend for transparency

Colin Kaepernick

The NFL’s Colin Kaepernick workout continues to be troubled by disagreements between the league and Kaepernick’s camp.

The latest update is that Kaepernick’s workout in Atlanta has been moved back an hour and shifted to another location. This is to allow the media to attend and view proceedings. In a statement from Kaepernick’s representatives, they blamed the NFL for the shift, claiming that the league was not allowing for a transparent process and blocking media from attending.

Essentially, Kaepernick’s camp more or less states that the league isn’t treating the process legitimately. That will only embolden critics who believe that the NFL is doing this as something of a PR move. Kaepernick still appears intent on going through with the workout, but it certainly seems that the player’s camp is taking control of the process at their terms on this point because they believe they’re being treated unfairly. It’s still quite awkward that this all happened a half hour before the originally scheduled start.

Given all the drama, it’s becoming increasingly understandable why some people were skeptical that this workout would ever even happen.

At least 25 teams now expected to send scouts to Colin Kaepernick workout

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is scheduled to work out in front of NFL teams in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, and it appears there are going to be plenty of eyes on him as he tries to prove he can still play at a high level.

Earlier in the week, the NFL announced that 11 teams had confirmed they were sending representatives to watch Kaepernick. That number has since increased dramatically. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday night that at least 24 teams would be represented, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media upped the total to at least 25 on Saturday morning.

While there will likely be no head coaches or general managers present, scouts from 25 teams is certainly better than scouts from only 11 teams. Kaepernick tweeted after the workout was organized that he was looking forward to seeing which head coaches and GMs attended, but he had to have known they were unlikely to come in the middle of the regular season.

Many have questioned the NFL’s motive for organizing the workout, but Kaepernick was not getting calls to work out for teams prior to this. Even if the NFL has decided to host a workout for him as a PR stunt, the 32-year-old still has a legitimate opportunity to showcase his skills. Some executives reportedly believe that Kaepernick will be signed in the near future. If he truly wants to continue his playing career, that should be all that matters.

Report: Jay-Z pushed for Colin Kaepernick workout after taking reputation hit

Jay Z Pitt Duke

Jay-Z’s possible involvement in the NFL setting up Saturday’s planned Colin Kaepernick workout has been a topic of discussion this week.

A report during the week said that Jay-Z had a role in setting up the workout. On Friday, Dan Patrick said on his radio show that he heard Jay-Z pressured the league to hold the Kaepernick workout. DP suggested that Jay-Z pushed for the workout because the music mogul took a reputation hit after partnering with the league.

Patrick later said that other sources told him any talk about Jay-Z is a distraction to take away from the opportunity the league is providing.

Jay-Z was criticized by some as a “sellout” for partnering with the league in August and also took heat for saying we’ve moved past kneeling.

Those criticizing Jay-Z would rather talk about change than act to make change, the way Jay-Z is doing. By partnering with the league, he can have some influence and help change things from the inside, including pushing for the workout. Those questioning his motive are missing the bigger point, and that is that Kaepernick has an opportunity to workout in front of all 32 teams, which is more than he’s had since the 2016 season. Kaepernick now has a shot at making it back into the league, which has been his stated goal since 2017.

Maybe the NFL and Jay-Z’s actions have self-serving purposes, but they also are leading to an opportunity for Kaepernick. Unless you simply do not want Kaepernick back in the NFL, it’s hard to be upset with this outcome.

Report: Two NFL execs think Colin Kaepernick could be signed within weeks

Colin Kaepernick

There is a wide-ranging belief that the NFL organized a workout for Colin Kaepernick strictly as a public relations stunt, but it could still help the free agent quarterback find a job even if that is the case. Executives from some teams apparently expect that to happen.

Two NFL team executives told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman that they believe the interest in Kaepernick is legitimate, and they expect the 32-year-old to be on a roster by the end of the month if he throws well at his workout on Saturday. Those same executives view the workout as the NFL’s way of essentially telling teams it is fine for them to sign Kaepernick.

Freeman also reports that the NFL’s decision to host a workout left both Kaepernick and many teams around the league shocked. Kaepernick’s representatives had not heard from the NFL in over a year prior to receiving a call on Tuesday. One NFC executive said he thought the call from the league was a prank, and three other execs said this is the first time in their careers they can remember any event like this being organized.

If Kaepernick truly wants to play in the NFL again, it shouldn’t matter to him if the NFL organized Saturday’s workout as a PR stunt. He had not been getting calls to work out for teams prior to this, and he now has a chance to showcase his skills in front of almost half of the teams in the league.

Kaepernick’s camp may disagree with the way the NFL has handled things and supposedly gone back on promises, but the opportunity could prove to be very beneficial for the quarterback.

Tom Brady shares thoughts on Colin Kaepernick getting NFL workout

Tom Brady

There has been a wide difference of opinions about whether or not the workout the NFL set up for Colin Kaepernick will actually give the quarterback a better chance to impress teams, but Tom Brady views it as a positive.

In his weekly interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio Thursday night, Brady was asked about Kaepernick’s workout, which is scheduled to take place in Atlanta on Saturday. He praised Kaepernick for his mental toughness and said he thinks the event will be a good opportunity.

“I think being a pro quarterback is very challenging in and of itself,” Brady said, as transcribed by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “To have time off is a challenge, but Colin has overcome a lot of challenges in his career. He’s always found a way to produce. He’s very mentally tough. I think it’s pretty cool that he’s getting that opportunity.”

The NFL announced on Thursday that 11 teams have committed to send representatives to Kaepernick’s workout, and that number could grow by Saturday. Critics will say the league only organized the event as a PR stunt, but Kaepernick had not received a call from a team in a long time prior to now. Even if he feels the NFL’s interests are self-serving, he still has an opportunity to showcase his skills in front of people who matter.

While Brady has done his best to not share any of his personal beliefs on social injustice issues or national anthem protests, he has been publicly supportive of Kaepernick in the past.

Hue Jackson will lead drills at Colin Kaepernick’s workout

Hue Jackson

Colin Kaepernick is set to work out in front of NFL teams in Atlanta on Saturday, and details about the event continue to trickle out. It turns out Kaepernick won’t be the only familiar face in attendance, as there will also be a Hue Jackson sighting.

Jackson, who was fired as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns last year, has agreed to lead the drills for Kaepernick’s workout, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Video of the workout will then be sent to the head coaches and general managers of all 32 teams, and at least 11 teams are expected to have representatives in attendance.

The NFL later confirmed that Jackson will be running the drills and revealed which 11 teams had committed as of Thursday evening. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns are among them.

There had been some speculation that Kaepernick could back out of the event altogether, but it does not sound like that is going to happen. Even if he and his representatives are unhappy that the workout is being held on short notice and on a Saturday, it still gives the free agent a chance to show off his skills if he is committed to playing in the NFL again in the future.

Kaepernick’s representatives reportedly asked for a list of which teams will attend when the NFL reached out about the workout earlier in the week, and the league is said to have agreed but later gone back on that. Kaepernick’s camp says the NFL promised a list would be provided, though league officials have denied that.

Coaches would not be expected to attend the workout as they are preparing for Sunday games, while many high-level executives probably had plans to do scouting at college games on Saturday. Still, teams have enough scouting employees where they would be able to send one to attend the workout.

Kaepernick may feel that the NFL put the workout together as a PR stunt, but it’s a chance to audition nonetheless. If teams weren’t calling him for workouts before and he is serious about continuing his playing career, he should try to capitalize on the opportunity.

Report: Teams reached out to NFL about Colin Kaepernick before workout decision

Colin Kaepernick Castro

It remains to be seen how many teams will send representatives on Saturday to the workout the NFL has set up for Colin Kaepernick, but apparently interest in the free agent quarterback was part of the motivation for the league holding the event.

According to multiple reports, the NFL organized a workout for Kaepernick in part because teams had been reaching out to the league to inquire about the 32-year-old. Albert Breer of The MMQB said some teams indicated to NFL football operations people that they had interest in Kaepernick but did not take any action by inviting him to a private workout or interview.

Steve Wyche of NFL Network had a similar report on Wednesday when he noted that teams were calling the NFL to inquire about Kaepernick’s “readiness” but were unwilling to bring him in for a workout. Since the teams did not want to invite Kaepernick to visit them, Wyche says the NFL decided “OK, we’re going to do this for you. We’re gonna pay for this workout to happen.”

That information is a bit surprising, especially if it came directly from the league. Kaepernick, of course, has accused NFL teams of colluding against him, and teams calling the NFL to inquire about Kaepernick might indicate there is collusion on some level. Wyche made it seem like the NFL tried to avoid that by essentially telling teams, “Why are you asking us?”

Breer added that teams have been “skittish” about bringing Kaepernick in because of what happened when the Seahawks and Ravens considered signing him.

In Seattle, a lot of information leaked out that made it seem as though the team was trying to get Kaepernick to agree to drop his national anthem protest. With Baltimore, Kaepernick’s girlfriend created some unflattering headlines with her tweet about Ray Lewis and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

Some will argue that the NFL setting up a workout for Kaepernick is a public relations move, while others say the league is trying to pave the way for him to be signed by essentially taking the hit from fans who want Kaepernick to remain unemployed. The reality is it is not that simple, and those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. If Kaepernick still wants to play, it’s hard to argue that a workout won’t help his chances of making that happen.