Any interest an NFL team expressed in free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the league’s sudden interest in social justice initiatives was described as “fake” in a new report Monday.
Pro Football Talk, citing a source, reported that “fake” interest was expressed in the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback “seemingly out of guilt.” It has reportedly been “months” since any team had expressed interest in Kaepernick joining their roster.
Kaepernick’s attempt to get back into the league came last year when the NFL planned to hold an impromptu workout for the quarterback. An issue over an injury waiver then prompted Kaepernick to abruptly move the location of his workout with only a handful of scouts coming to watch him.
He didn’t get a tryout from there but the protests and unrest over Floyd’s death in a police-involved incident raised the attention surrounding Kaepernick’s absence from the league.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemingly gave teams the all-clear to pursue Kaepernick if they wanted to, saying he would “welcome” a team signing him. Troy Vincent, a league executive, also said the NFL was “working” to help Kaepernick find a spot on an NFL roster in June.
President Trump, who has butted heads with the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem, also said in June he would want to see Kaepernick back in the league.
“If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability," Trump said at the time. “He started off great and then he didn't end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year, and then something happened. So his playing wasn't up to snuff.”
Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson was one of the few coaches who expressed a desire to possibly bringing Kaepernick in. However, the Eagles recently brought back Josh McCown to their practice squad, nixing any chance the team signs Kaepernick.
Kaepernick has not played since the 2016 season. While rust could be an issue, he got a chance to showcase his arm talent in a hasty workout last year. At least one scout reportedly said that he still has “elite” arm strength
In Kaepernick’s final season with the 49ers, he recorded 2,241 passing yards and 16 touchdown passes in 12 games. He only threw four interceptions.