Colin Kaepernick made it known last week he's ready to return to the NFL at the drop of a hat – or helmet – after posting a video on social media of himself training in a gym, pointing out to potential suitors that he has been doing so for the last three years.
Now it's emerged the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s path back to the NFL may get some help from Vince McMahon’s planned 2020 XFL reboot.
According to Pro Football Talk, the XFL plans to target quarterbacks who are cut from rosters during the preseason. Should NFL teams commit to two quarterbacks and more than a dozen choose to sign with the XFL, teams will lose out on a revolving-door market that has so far excluded Kaepernick.
Even more interesting, a destination that has come to the forefront in reported Kaepernick talks is the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles lost backup Nick Foles to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason and will be without intended backup Nate Sudfeld for at least six weeks after he suffered a broken wrist. The Eagles have Cody Kessler, but he’s only won two games in 12 starts with the Cleveland Browns and Jaguars.
The backup position is particularly important for the Eagles. Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, whom the Eagles traded up to get in the 2016 draft, has not played a full season since his rookie year. He’s gone down with injuries in 2017 and 2018, both times leaving the job – and the playoff starts – to Foles.
Eagles quarterbacks coach Press Taylor was asked about Kaepernick on Saturday, but divulged little.
“I don't know if I can speak to Colin Kaepernick as a quarterback right now. I'm more focused on the guys we have in the building right now,” Taylor told ABC 6 Philadelphia. “I couldn't say I have evaluated his film recently and I'm just continuing to focus on the guys we have here.”
A person close to Kaepernick told the Associated Press that he always he been ready to play at a high level.
“Colin has always been prepared to compete at the highest level and is in the best shape of his life,” the source said.
The former NFC champion quarterback released a video on social media Wednesday showing him working out in a gym. He said in the video: “5 a.m., 5 days a week. For 3 years. Still Ready.”
President Trump, who has been one of Kaepernick's more outspoken critics due to Kaerpernick's on-field kneeling protests during the national anthem, said Friday he would “love” to see the quarterback return to the field if he was “good enough.”
Kaepernick has not played in an NFL game since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season. In his last game, he threw for 215 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort against the Seattle Seahawks.
Kaepernick also signed a deal with Nike last summer in which he received his own branded clothing. Some NFL and NBA players were seen last season wearing black Kaepernick jerseys.
He, along with former teammate Eric Reid, also settled a grievance lawsuit with the NFL in February. The two alleged they were blackballed from the league because of their protests during the national anthem. Reid has since signed with the Carolina Panthers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.