Football fans and Kaepernick supporters are waiting with bated breath for his NFL workout this Saturday in Atlanta.
Following a three-year absence, the culture is vested in Kap’s opportunity for a second chance to play quarterback in the league.
The NFL has announced 11 teams will attend the workout but details about how and why it came about and who exactly will be attending have been shrouded in secrecy.
Asking not to be identified, a former Super Bowl champ with the Broncos told BET,
“This seems very weird. Everyone is trying to be anonymous on who they’re sending. If a team is really interested in a player, especially a guy with Kap’s ability, they send a quarterback coach, the offensive coordinator, not just scouts. They bring you in on a Tuesday when the right people are available to see. It’s not normal for coaches not to be there.”
In a statement the NFL said they “will send a video of the workout and interview to all 32 teams including head coaches and general managers.”
Here’s a look at the pros & cons of signing with clubs currently in the mix and the top two teams that might give him a shot:
BET reached out to Arizona, but the team hasn’t disclosed who will represent the team on Saturday.
In 2010, the franchise’s late owner, Bill Bidwell was honored for extraordinary contributions towards NFL diversity and in 2015 the team established a fellowship to increase the number of minorities on its coaching staff.
Number one draft pick, Kyler Murray, is the heartbeat of the birds, but the Cardinal’s inclusive environment could welcome Kap as a backup possibility.
Hue Jackson who coached the team from 2016-2018 will lead drills during the workout.
According to Albert Breer, Jackson stated, “It’s an opportunity for [Kaepernick] to showcase his talent and ability, and a chance to see where he is and what he’s been doing,” Jackson wants to make sure team reps will see “The accuracy is still there, that he still has the arm talent”
The Browns are already set with QB Baker Mayfied & Garrett Gilbert as backup.
BET reached out to a team source who confirmed the Broncos will send a member of their pro scouting department, but that person’s name and rank will not be revealed.
After Peyton Manning retired in 2016, Denver took interest in Kaepernick, offering a $7M contract. He balked at the 50% pay cut.
Even though there’s an opportunity for Kap to reunite with his former 49ers Defensive Coordinator, Vic Fangio, he would play QB3 behind, Brandon Allen and Drew Lock until the 2020 season. An unlikely scenario.
The Detroit Free Free Press reported official comments made by Coach Matt Patricia. “We, as an organization, we always due diligence on all players. I know [GM Bob Quinn] and his staff will have someone down there to watch the workout and we’ll see where it goes.”
As of today, the team will not comment on who will actually attend.
As a former defensive coordinator for New England, Patricia comes from the buttoned-up, zero-tolerance Patriots school of thought. It’s unlikely he will take on the potential of Kaepernick protests.
According to the Miami Herald reporting, Coach Brian Flores said the team will send a representative but when asked about actually signing Kaepernick he added, “I don’t have a crystal ball. It’s hard to say. We like our [current] quarterback situation right now.”
New England Patriots
BET reached out to the Pats for details about the team’s workout participation. The source disclosed their head coach may address the topic at an upcoming press conference.
In typical Bill Belichick style, it’s more realistic the notoriously evasive gatekeeper will answer questions about Kap with yet another question.
Owner Robert Kraft and QB Tom Brady are long-standing friends of Trump who’s been highly critical of Kap.
In August, President Trump addressed if Colin should play saying, “Why wouldn’t he play if he was good enough? I think if he’s good enough, I know the owners – I know Kraft, I know so many owners – if he’s good enough, they’d sign him.”
Political capital will likely prevent a contract from getting signed here.
New York Giants
The team confirmed they’re sending an unknown representative but haven’t responded to BET’s request for more details.
However, in 2017 Giants owner John Mara was clear about the consequences of having Kaepernick in the Big Apple saying, “All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about [players kneeling during the anthem.”
He added, Fans threatened “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, more so than any other issue I’ve run into.”
New York Jets
As reported by the NY Daily News, Head Coach Adam Gase addressed Kaepernick at a team press conference. “I got to worry about this week. That’s what my job is.” The team has given no further comments.
Despite a 2-4 start and a declining passer rating (74.5 vs. 77.6 last season), QB Sam Darnold will mostly keep his job now that it’s been announced Gase, will continue to coach the team.
NBCSports reported earlier statements made by Redskins Interim Coach Bill Callahan. "Our situation is full at this juncture right now because of the two veteran quarterbacks we have along with Dwayne [Haskins]."
Callahan added, "We have three [quarterbacks] on our roster where generally a lot of teams just carry two on their roster. We're really carrying one extra quarterback than most teams normally carry." Regarding Kaepernick, he concluded, “We wish the best for him.”
The NFL has since confirmed the team’s workout attendance.
BET contacted a Redskins source who confirmed they’re sending a scout level employee.
The team has had a revolving door of issues including the in-season firing of former Coach Jay Gruden and the accusations of poor medical handling by offensive tackle, Trent Williams. The front office is unlikely to welcome more controversies into the franchise.
And the Top Two Landing Spots Go To...
As the team hosts Kaepernick at their facility, ESPN.com first reported the Falcons will also have a representative observe the QB’s football readiness. Coach Dan Quinn joked, “Who likes a workout better than a scout, nobody.”
QB Matt Ryan has returned to practice, following an ankle injury. In his absence, the Falcons promoted 38-year-old, Matt Schaub, a former Raven who hadn’t started since 2015. Danny Etling was upped to third string from the practice squad. The team’s criteria for backup quarterbacks hasn’t been stellar. There could be a place for Kaepernick here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs haven’t publicly disclosed who will attend on Saturday. QB Jameis Winston leads the league with 14 interceptions this season but still has a vote of confidence from Coach Bruce Arians.
Winston is in the last year of his rookie contract and it’s yet to be determined if he’ll become a franchise player.
Signing Kap as a back-up would give the team a safety net and bring star power to a small market less likely to make a stink about his polarizing presence.
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