Kaepernick Throws for NFL Scouts

Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t taken an NFL snap since 2017, worked out at halftime of Michigan’s spring game Saturday for a group of NFL scouts in hopes of returning to the league.

The 34-year-old reunited with Michigan head man Jim Harbaugh, who coached him in San Francisco, to showcase his skills and show teams in need of a quarterback that he can still sling it. Kaepernick said after the exhibition that he can “make you a better team, can help you win games.”

He threw passes to undrafted and free agent wide receivers for about 15 minutes, and afterwards said he’d love to work out for a club and have a conversation with the staff.

Kaepernick worked his way out of the league in large part by kneeling during the national anthem, wearing socks showing the police as pigs, and praising Fidel Castro. The former 49er quarterback, in a six-part Netflix docudrama, equated the NFL draft to a slave auction, NFL owners to slave plantation owners, and NFL head coaches to slave drivers.

Though he led San Francisco to the Super Bowl, Kaepernick is widely thought to have been blackballed around the league for his highly visible protests against racial injustice. Detractors, however, point to a QB rating under 50 over his last two seasons as well as his team’s 5-16 record.

In 2020, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged NFL teams to sign Kaepernick, but there has not been serious interest in his services since a disastrous NFL-organized workout in 2019. Many felt the hastily organized exhibition was a sham to rid the league of a growing PR issue.

NFL observers list Carolina, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Seattle as possible landing spots for the quarterback, with Seattle’s combination of being in a rebuilding mode and the political leanings of the city making it a possible match.

As distasteful as it is for a person to lose their livelihood due to political viewpoints, even his supporters must acknowledge that kneeling for the national anthem is only going to draw one response from a vast majority of Americans. Wherever Colin Kaepernick lands, if he lands, he will be well advised to leave politics at home and concentrate on winning football games.