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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Colin Kaepernick

NFL arranges private workout for Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is launching another effort to generate interest in his services from NFL teams — and notably, he has the backing of the league itself to do it.

Kaepernick will hold a private workout on Saturday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will do on-field work and make himself available for an interview. All 32 NFL teams have been invited to attend.

Most notably, the showcase has been set up by the NFL itself, demonstrating that the league is taking a somewhat active role in granting Kaepernick the opportunity to show he’s worthy of another chance.

Kaepernick, who just turned 32 earlier this month, has not played in the NFL since 2016. There has been widespread belief that the quarterback has been blackballed from the league due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality. The fact that the NFL is arranging this workout suggests that the league itself would be happy to see him play again, even if teams may still shy away from signing him due to potential fan outcry.

In September, Kaepernick was described as being in the best shape of his life. Now he will get a chance to show it in a rather high-profile environment with the backing of the league.

Colin Kaepernick says he only learned of NFL workout day it was announced

Colin Kaepernick

Not even Colin Kaepernick’s NFL workout can come without controversy.

Kaepernick will have a workout on Saturday that was arranged by the NFL, both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday. After news of the workout was reported, Kaepernick said he had just learned of the news. He said he was in shape and had been ready for the moment.

Kaepernick wrote in his tweet that he “can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,” which is setting himself up for disappointment. NFL teams have games on Sunday, so it’s unlikely a head coach would attend. Some GMs might be able to make it, but it will likely be other club representatives attending.

Schefter says Kaepernick’s people were not informed of the workout until Tuesday morning. Kaepernick’s representatives were hoping for a Tuesday workout, but the league set the date for a Saturday.

If Kaepernick has been training and preparing for a workout as he says he is, then he should be ready to roll on Saturday. Wanting to push things beyond Week 11 of the season would give him even less time to help a team this year.

As for wanting to work out on a Tuesday, teams usually have free agents they work out at their facilities that day of the week, making it more difficult for team employees to attend one elsewhere.

Details emerge regarding Colin Kaepernick NFL workout

Colin Kaepernick

The NFL arranging a workout for Colin Kaepernick on Saturday raises many questions about the process. How did the workout come about? And who was involved in arranging it?

We got a few answers to those questions via The Ringer’s Tyler Tynes.

Tynes says the league reached out to Kaepernick’s representatives out of nowhere on Tuesday, and adds that there had been no conversations leading up to that point. The league told Kaep’s representatives they wanted an answer within two hours about their offer to move forward with the plans for the workout.

Kaepernick’s representatives were hoping for the workout to be on Tuesday, a few days later, or the following Saturday, but were told this was the day. It was essentially a take it or leave it offer.

Kaepernick’s representatives are hoping to receive a list of which league personnel will be present at the workout to ensure its legitimacy.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, when he became the face of a social justice movement in sports due to his kneeling for the national anthem. He sued the league alleging that they had colluded against him due and settled the case earlier this year.

Skeptics of the workout will say the NFL is only doing it for show. They will argue that by hosting it on Saturday, when many team coaches are preparing for Sunday’s games and executives are scouting college players, the league’s effort is disingenuous.

On the other side of the debate, one could argue that the NFL is trying to pave the way for Kaepernick to make it back into the league. They could argue that teams have opted against signing and working out the free agent, and now the NFL is trying to initiate things and help out the quarterback by making a genuine effort to get him signed.

It’s hard to say what exactly is going on. If you thought Kaepernick was being blackballed beforehand, you probably feel this workout is just for show. If you thought Kaepernick was not being signed because owners felt the quarterback’s ability to help a team would not outweigh the negative publicity he would generate, you probably feel the NFL is trying to help the quarterback.

Report: Cowboys have interest in Colin Kaepernick workout

Jerry Jones

The NFL has made the bizarre decision to host a workout for Colin Kaepernick on Saturday and invite all 32 teams, and you may be surprised to hear that the Dallas Cowboys are expected to have at least one representative in attendance.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, when he became the face of a social justice movement in sports due to his kneeling for the national anthem. Many people believe that is the reason he has remained unsigned, and the Cowboys have a fairly strict policy regarding the anthem. Despite that, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that they are willing to give Kaepernick a look.

Anderson also reported that an NFC team said there is “nothing to lose” by attending the Kaepernick workout but that it would likely be for nothing more than to gather information.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was very outspoken about the anthem kneeling issue from the start, and the team still strongly encourages — if not requires — players to stand during the anthem.

It’s impossible to determine which teams have legitimate interest and which are simply going through the motions. The same is true for the NFL, as even some teams reportedly believe the workout was organized all for show. Others might argue that the league is trying to pave the way for Kaepernick to get another shot after teams have largely ignored him.

Whatever the case, there are many details about the workout that make it sound disingenuous. Saturday is a day in which most coaches are preparing for Sunday’s games and scouts are watching college players, so it remains to be seen if teams will actually send high-ranking officials and/or decision-makers to the event. There’s still a lot of skepticism that Kaepernick will be signed.