Colin Kaepernick is still staying prepared in case an NFL opportunity comes his way. The former 49ers quarterback told Sports Illustrated’s Gilberto Manzano that he’s training at least five days each week with an eye on eventually getting another NFL call.
“I’m going to keep pushing,” Kaepernick says. “I’m going to keep fighting for it because I know I can step on the field and play. Every workout, every opportunity I’ve had to show that, the feedback has always been positive. Everything from, ‘He’s still an elite player,’ to ‘The workout was great; it was better than expected.’
“When I had my workout with the Raiders last year, even training with guys, there’s a decent amount of people who may have forgotten what I was capable of doing on the field, so any chance to be able to remind people of what I can do out there, I look forward to and embrace, and I look forward to the day that I get to step on the field and show people what I can do.”
As Kaepernick noted, he earned his first NFL workout in years when he auditioned for the Raiders in 2022. Ultimately, the team decided to opt for the likes of Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens to serve as Derek Carr‘s backup, and Kaepernick found himself questioning the organization’s logic for the moves.
“I’ve heard a lot of excuses over the years,” Kaepernick says, “but most of the time it ends up, ‘Oh, we’re going to see how the guys that we have do.’ With the Raiders’ situation last year, that was Stidham and Nick Mullens, which to me, you just compare résumés and capabilities, on top of the workout and the feedback, it’s like, ‘O.K., cool.’
“Obviously, there’s something else within this decision. To me, that’s typically what it ends up being, or has been for the last seven years. So, I just want the opportunity to come in, show what I can do on the field. Judge me based upon that, not the political bias that you have.”
Despite not getting an offer in Las Vegas, Kaepernick still apparently left a good impression, with some reports praising his arm strength and conditioning. Back at the time, there were rumors that a handful of other teams were also considering bringing in the QB for a visit. However, the 35-year-old hasn’t had any reported visits since that time, and he told Manzano that he doesn’t currently have any scheduled workouts on the docket.
Prior to his visit with the Raiders, Kaepernick hadn’t been on the NFL radar for years. Kaepernick met with the Seahawks in 2017 and threw in front of a handful of NFL personnel at a Georgia workout he reorganized at the 11th hour two years later. The QB hasn’t seen the field for an NFL game since New Year’s Day in 2017, and years later, the NFL settled with Kaepernick (and Eric Reid) on a collusion lawsuit, with the QB claiming he was exiled from the league after his protests of racial injustice during the national anthem.