Quick Bit: Colin Kaepernick wants to return to the NFL. And he seems ready to do whatever it takes to make that dream come true.
Colin Kaepernick just wants one more chance.
The former Niners quarterback has strayed away from the spotlight for much of the past few years, revealing little except his desire to return to the gridiron.
But that passion continues to burn. And with the Jets caught in a QB crisis, it seems Kaepernick wants to take advantage, offering his services in any way possible to help Robert Saleh’s squad right the course.
Kaepernick hasn’t played a game in more than half-a-decade. And yet, there are still a number of faces on NFL rosters who aren’t fit to lace his cleats. It seems the former star is giving it one last go as he attempts to overcome years of shady business dealings against his former employer.
Here’s what you need to know as Kaepernick attempts to pump life into his comeback tour.
Colin Kaepernick letter
The letter, released by famed rapper J. Cole on Instagram, sees Kaepernick offer his services to the Jets and their general manager, Joe Douglas. The note comes as a response to Aaron Rodgers’ torn Achilles and details the finer points of Kaep’s training regimen. It also offers a little insight into what the veteran QB feels he can offer an NFL side, especially one looking to prepare for the gauntlet of mobile quarterbacks that have come to dominate the NFL in recent weeks.
“I would be honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad,” Kaepernick wrote. “I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week.”
Kaepernick delved into just why he feels he is perfectly-suited to face off against New York’s defense week in, week out. A spot on the practice squad would give the Jets a low-stakes environment to evaluate Kaepernick’s skills, all the while allowing him to give that vaunted Gang Green defense something to think about in practices. It’s a win, win, as he sees it.
“In a perfect world for the Jets, Zach Wilson finds his stride and shows that he is able to lead this championship caliber team that you’ve put together to the Super Bowl,” Kaepernick wrote. “However, in the event that this is not the case, I would love to offer you a risk-free contingency plan.”
Cole’s release seems to indicate that Kaepernick’s request went unheard. On Tuesday, New York announced its intention to add longtime backup Trevor Siemian to its roster as its practice squad QB. He joins an amalgam of underwhelming QB talents to take their place in the Jets roster, joining Tim Boyle as Wilson’s understudy.
Why is Colin Kaepernick not in the NFL?
Kaepernick enjoyed a solid amount of success in the NFL, even leading the 49ers on the brink of Super Bowl back in 2012. Blessed with a cannon arm and fiery wheels to boot, Kaepernick was part of the vanguard of duel-threat QBs that took the league by storm in the early 2010s.
As San Francisco’s starter, Kaep went 28-30. He wasn’t the most efficient of throwers, completing just a shade under 60 percent of his passes. But what he lacked in precision he made up for in big-play ability, best evidenced by his standout display vs. the Packers in the 2012 postseason.
Kaepernick’s NFL career reached a standstill after 2016, the year when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and state-sanctioned violence against Black people. He opted out of his deal in following the 2016 year and — as a dual-threat quarterback with valuable postseason experience — Kaepernick expected to be greeted with numerous contract offers. Instead, he got crickets; numerous subpar QBs were offered deals around the league. Meanwhile, Kaep couldn’t find a gig. Reports came out revealing how front offices were vehemently opposed to adding him to their rosters, an unsurprising development given their place in the ruling class — status that is further entrenched and protected by police and, more broadly, the state as a whole.
Suffice to say, despite Kaepernick’s best efforts, he couldn’t field an offer. Such has been the case ever since, his youthful vigor giving way to a wistful nostalgia. The league has tried to do everything in its power to obscure its denial of opportunities to Kaepernick, even enlisting capitalist cronies like Jay-Z to serve the shield and protect its image as a conduit of equality and inclusivity (whatever that means).
But the masses aren’t fooled. And Kaepernick’s forced departure from the game he loved so much has served as a black mark for the league ever since.
Kaepernick has done a lot in the years since his last NFL game, releasing a book and documentary while also partnering with numerous organizations committed to Black liberation, such as including People’s Program, a Black/New Afrikan Socialist organization that serves the needs of the people of Oakland.
It seems his heart still yearns for the gridiron, however. It’s uncertain whether he’ll ever get the chance to rekindle that love at the game’s highest level.
When was the last time Colin Kaepernick played?
Kaepernick last featured in an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017, completing 17-of-22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in a 25-23 defeat to the Seahawks. He ended his final season in San Francisco with 18 touchdowns (16 passing, two rushing) and 2,700 yards from scrimmage compared to just four interceptions.
It was a dour campaign for the Niners, who limped to a 1-10 record with Kaepernick under center. Per reports, general manager John Lynch was already planning on releasing his longtime starter as the organization looked to find a better fit at QB.
In the years since Kaepernick’s NFL dismissal, many have argued that Kaepernick’s failure to receive a contract offer was a result of his protests against state violence — and the potential implications it had on the NFL’s pockets, too. Former NFL vice president of communications, Joe Lockhart, explained as much in an op-ed column written in CNN back in 2020.
“Our organization was consumed by the case of Colin Kaepernick,” Lockhart wrote. “No teams wanted to sign a player – even one as talented as Kaepernick – whom they saw as controversial, and, therefore, bad for business.”
Colin Kaepernick age
Once considered one of the most dynamic hurlers in the league, Kaepernick is now 35 years old. He’ll turn 36 in November. If he were to return to the gridiron, that would make Kaepernick one of the oldest QBs in the league; for comparison, he’s only three years younger than Matt Ryan.
Colin Kaepernick career stats
Kaepernick enjoyed decent success in the NFL, accruing a career stat line that fares far better than the likes of Siemian. Here are his numbers at a glance, provided by Pro Football Reference:
Jets QB depth chart
At present, Zach Wilson is the No. 1 in the Big Apple following Aaron Rodgers’ injury. He is flanked by Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian in Gang Green’s QB corps.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More