Colin Kaepernick

NFC Rumors: Kaepernick, 49ers, Panthers

The only team connected to Colin Kaepernick since his 49ers run ended, the Seahawks had a representative in Atlanta for the free agent quarterback’s workout Saturday. However, they were one of the many teams who opted not to trek from the Falcons’ Flowery Branch, Ga., facility to Riverdale. Roughly an hour separates these Atlanta-area locales, and 18 teams on hand for the would-be showcase at the NFL facility did not travel to the high school where the workout ended up occurring.

Disappointed,” Pete Carroll said of the Seahawks missing the workout, via Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio 950 KJR (via Pro Football Talk). “We had planned to be at that workout. It got changed around, and we couldn’t hang with it. Unfortunately, we sent somebody, but we couldn’t stay with the changes that happened. We missed it. We were real curious. I was real curious to see how the workout went. Just competing as always, you know.”

While Carroll said he has seen some of the workout, no team has yet expressed interest in the 32-year-old passer. Kaepernick’s agent is not optimistic a deal will materialize. The Seahawks met with Kaepernick in 2017 but cancelled a 2018 summit.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • In a state-of-the-union-style address, Panthers owner David Tepper asked that no Ron Rivera– or Marty Hurney-related questions be asked. The second-year owner said multiple times this week he will not accept mediocrity, via Joseph Person of The Athletic (subscription required). Carolina made the playoffs four times from 2013-17 but is 12-14 since. Tepper overhauled the Panthers’ business operations since taking over and considered making major football-ops changes after last season. Rivera is signed through the 2020 season. With Hurney also rehired as GMbefore Tepper took over, it is safe to assume both decision-makers’ jobs will be on the line over the season’s final six weeks.
  • Tepper did discuss Cam Newton‘s status, indicating the quarterback’s foot injury would be factored into the overall evaluation of the team and that no decision will be made on Newton until he is healthy again. With that potentially being months away, teams interested in trading for the former MVP may have to adjust their offseason blueprints. Tepper added that ideally Newton would be back and lead the Panthers to another Super Bowl but did not guarantee the 30-year-old passer would return.
  • The 49ers‘ retooled roster has restored the franchise as an NFC contender after five years off the radar. The team should not be expected to be a major player in 2020 free agency, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic (subscription required). However, the one exception would be at receiver, Barrows adds. Kyle Shanahan opted against adding a big-ticket receiver in 2018 or ’19, after 2017’s failed Pierre Garcon move. But the team traded for Emmanuel Sanders this year to address a key need. Sanders is a free agent at season’s end. The 2020 UFA receiver class as of now includes Amari Cooper, A.J. Green, Robby Anderson and Josh Gordon. But with Cooper and Green candidates to stay in their respective cities, this receiver class could be thin.
  • On the subject of NFC receiver situations, Cowboys wideout Noah Brown will not play this season. Stashed on Dallas’ PUP list after a June knee surgery, Brown recently underwent another procedure, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes. The 2017 seventh-round pick played in 21 Cowboys games between 2017-18. He is expected to be ready for the team’s offseason program.

Colin Kaepernick’s Agent Not Optimistic Kaepernick Will Be Signed

NOV. 18: Kaepernick’s camp sent the video of the workout to all 32 teams on Sunday night, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Nalley has reiterated his client’s willingness to interview and work out at any team’s facility.

NOV. 17: Prior to Saturday’s much-ballyhooed showcase for free agent QB Colin Kaepernick, two primary points of contention emerged between the league and Kaepernick’s camp: the waiver that the league wanted Kaepernick to sign, and the fact that the league did not allow Kaepernick to bring in an independent film crew to tape the workout.

The waiver issue sparked a great deal of debate, with prominent writers like Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggesting that the NFL was trying to back Kaepernick into a corner by making him sign a non-standard waiver that would have had him release any employment-related claims that might have arisen after the two sides settled Kaepernick’s collusion case in February. However, as Mike Jones of USA Today writes, the language of the league’s proposed waiver was very similar to language included in waivers for other rookie camps and free agent tryouts, and after reviewing the waiver itself, Florio did back off of his earlier argument a bit. He believes that, while the NFL’s waiver did not specifically target employment-related claims, Kaepernick’s camp was right to at least be skeptical of certain provisions in the waiver.

But Steve Wyche of the NFL Network, citing Kaepernick’s agent, Jeff Nalley, says that the independent filming issue — and not the waiver issue — was the more pressing concern (Twitter link). The consensus among most NFL writers and analysts appears to be that both the NFL and Kaepernick’s team share some of the blame for the fact that the workout did not go particularly smoothly. Indeed, as Jim Trotter of the NFL Network tweets, the league should not have announced the workout prior to resolving all potential areas of conflict, but Kaepernick should have accepted that he can’t call every shot.

Similarly, Jones opines that Kaepernick did not prove that he can carry himself with flexibility and professionalism, and he did not prove that he can take care of business with minimal fanfare. The fact that he inconvenienced over 20 NFL scouts by changing the workout location at the last minute does nothing to undermine the arguments of his detractors who believe he is not fully committed to playing again unless it’s entirely on his terms.

Perhaps as a result of that reality, Nalley says he is not optimistic that his client will sign with an NFL team (video link via Wyche). Nalley does appreciate the fact that the NFL was able to assemble a large contingent of clubs willing to at least give Kaepernick a look, and he concedes that it could be a step in the right direction.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passes along a scouting report of the workout itself, which is mostly positive except that it suggests Kaepernick’s accuracy and touch were shaky, especially on deep balls (Twitter link). The report indicated that Kaepernick is good enough to be on an NFL roster, but probably as a backup.

Meanwhile, although the Bills were initially reported Sunday morning as the “mystery team” that followed Kaepernick to the new workout location — only eight of the original 25 clubs that agreed to attend at the original site made the trek to the new site — Schefter says Buffalo did not, in fact, have any reps in attendance (Twitter link). As such, we’re still awaiting word on who the mystery team was.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Tagovailoa, Kaepernick

The latest on the two quarterbacks who have been dominating headlines today as we await kickoff tomorrow:

  • Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for the rest of the season, and there has been some concern his hip-injury could be career-threatening or career-altering. Alabama took the rare step of having their team surgeon release a statement (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Twitter), saying that Tagovailoa is “expected to make a full recovery.” That’s obviously great news, and hopefully it turns out to be more than just wishful thinking.
  • Tagovailoa was widely expected to be taken early in the first-round of April’s NFL draft, and his injury will now have a huge ripple effect. He can choose to head to the NFL and risk a huge dip in his draft stock, or he can still return to Alabama for his senior season. Everyone has been talking about his career being in jeopardy or how far he’ll tumble in the draft, but he also has the option of coming back for the Crimson Tide and proving his health before entering the draft in 2021. To that end, “it would be a complete shock” if Tagovailoa enters the 2020 draft now, opines Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). With such little clarity on a timetable it’s hard to predict anything, but it’s an interesting thought nonetheless.
  • Another area of dispute has emerged between the NFL and Colin Kaepernick‘s camp. The league said in statements that Nike wanted to shoot footage from the workout and use it in a commercial, but the apparel company is now denying those claims. Nike “was not on hand to film Colin Kaepernick’s workout,” a source confirmed to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), who also writes that “Nike is currently trying to get the NFL to retract that statement.”
  • After Kaepernick shifted the workout to a new location, most of the 25 teams on-hand didn’t follow him there. We previously heard that the Redskins, Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs, Jets, Titans, and Lions showed up at the new workout site to watch him throw, and there was apparently an additional mystery team there. Kaepernick’s reps said there was an eighth and as of yet unidentified team scouting, according to a tweet from Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
  • There was also a point of contention between the league and Kaep’s reps over the waiver that was asked to be signed. The NFL claims it asked the quarterback to sign a standard waiver, and that his team made unreasonable changes to it. You can view the waiver the league sent out courtesy of this tweet sent out by Dianna Russini of ESPN.com, and in subsequent tweets Russini breaks down the relatively mundane details. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything that interesting in the waiver battle.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed one of the most unique workouts in NFL history this afternoon. The NFL offered to stage a workout for the quarterback earlier this week. However, Kaepernick’s team became weary of the league’s intentions when his representatives were refused in their requests to open the event to the public. In a last minute decision, Kaepernick’s representation moved the event from the Falcons facility to a public location on their own.

Here’s the latest on the workout and its aftermath:

  • When the venue was changed, the NFL released a public statement on NFL.com that expressed they were “disappointed” with Kaepernick’s choice not to participate in the workout they had organized. They claimed “Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout.” The league also felt the need to note they “made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin’s representatives,” among a list of other points that attempted to counter some narratives that the league had been purposely opaque in their negotiations.
  • The league also tweeted out from the league’s official account a thread reiterating some main points from the press release. One key point from the league’s perspective, “Colin moved his workout to a facility an hour from Atlanta Falcons Flowery Branch facility. No one got a heads up until NFL saw the Twitter statement.”
  • Former Raiders and Browns head coach Hue Jackson was scheduled to run the workout orchestrated by the NFL. However, while Kaepernick’s team invited Jackson to run the workout at the new venue, Jackson returned to the airport, according to Michael Silver of NFL.com.
  • WR Bruce Ellington, WR Brice Butler, WR Jordan Veasy, TE/WR Ari Werts, and Panthers S Eric Reid were on the field with Kaepernick for the workout, according to Kaylee Harung of ABC News. The free-agent receivers were likely hoping to catch the eyes of scouts present to view Kaepernick, while Reid has been one of the most consistent advocated for Kaepernick in the league.
  • One claim in the announcement made by Kaepernick’s representatives was that the league required he sign an agreement that included language to limit his ability to bring claims against the league. Of course, given Kaepernick’s previous collusion lawsuit against the league, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk argues the workout was a ploy by the league to put Kaepernick “in legal checkmate.”
  • In the end, there were not nearly as many teams present at Kaepernick’s workout as the NFL claimed would have been present for the workout they had planned. The Washington football team, Eagles, 49ers, Chiefs, Jets, Titans, and Lions were the teams present for his workout, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
  • The 2-hour workout was streamed on YouTube and consistently maintained roughly 45,000 viewers. On the field, one NFL executive described Kaepernick’s arm talent as “elite” and on the same level as “when he came out of college,” according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
  • Teams that had personnel present for the workout noted that the workout consisted of 60 throws and “Basically showed he’s the same guy he was,” according to Albert Breer of MMQB. After the workout, Kaepernick did not hold any formal interviews, but in his closing remarks said he would hold an interview with any team. He also thanked his fans for their support and reiterated, “I’ve been ready. I’m staying ready. And I’ll continue to be ready….The ball’s in their court. We’re ready to go.”

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Colin Kaepernick‘s Saturday workout will not go according to the NFL’s plan. The quarterback’s camp changed the venue. Instead of the session commencing at the Falcons’ Flowery Branch, Ga., facility, Kaepernick will work out at a different location.

The NFL declined to allow media into the workout, which went against Kaepernick’s wishes for transparency, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Kaepernick’s representatives have rescheduled the workout for 3pm CT, moving it back an hour. Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., will serve as the new venue, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).

From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL office has not provided one,” Kaepernick reps Ben Miselas and Jeff Nalley said in a statement (Twitter link). “Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment-related issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives.

Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. The NFL denied this request. … Mr. Kaepernick still looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”

Kaepernick’s camp requested to record the workout alongside the NFL’s camera crew, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter); the group did not trust a process with the NFL being the only party with the tape. When the league refused that arrangement, Kaepernick requested media be permitted to view the session. When that was nixed, the quarterback ditched the previous setup, Robinson tweets. This distrust should not surprise given the contentious history between the former Super Bowl starter and the league.

More than three-fourths of the league will send reps to watch the ex-49ers starter throw. While there will not be head coaches or GMs on hand, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports (video link) many pro personnel heads and scouting directors are in Atlanta. Some execs on hand are believed to be in consideration for future GM jobs, a sign some teams are taking this workout seriously. However, some may not be. Some teams may have been there only because of the NFL’s request, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets.

The NFL was set to provide three wide receivers to participate, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Considering this 11th-hour venue change, it’s possible that will no longer happen. However, ex-Kaepernick teammate Bruce Ellington will be there, with Fowler adding the 32-year-old free agent will bring up to five wideouts to the workout.

The Panthers will not be among the 25 teams in Atlanta for the workout, per The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (on Twitter). This is interesting given Carolina’s quarterback uncertainty and employment of Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in alleging collusion against the NFL. Per Reid, Panthers owner David Tepper told him the team was not planning to add a veteran quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Brady, Rudolph, Garrett, Kaep

There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady‘s future this season, and whether he plans on continuing to play with the Patriots beyond 2019. Set to be a free agent after this season, there have been rumors Brady could wind up with a different team. A recent Adam Schefter report indicated retirement was also an option, although that would be at odds with Brady’s stated desire to play until he’s 45. According to his longtime friend and personal trainer Alex Guerrero, he could go well beyond that. Guerrero made a recent radio appearance on WEEI, and made it sound like Brady doesn’t plan on stepping away anytime soon.

“No one thought you could play at the elite level in your late 30s, early 40s. That is something we always felt we could do. I have really wanted to be there to help him accomplish that goal. I certainly do believe that 45 is a very realistic goal,” Guerrero said. “We talk about it all the time. Every year he just adds another year. He goes in and he’s like, ‘Guys, I feel so good still. I think I am going to go till 45.’ I am like, ‘OK.’ Now he’s like, ‘Alex, I think I can go like 46 or 47.’” If Brady does really want to go all the way to 47, that means we could have another five years of the legendary Patriots signal-caller. Guerrero is one of Brady’s closest confidants, and he’s certainly in the know. During the interview, he also emphatically denied reports of tension between himself and the organization.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The fallout from the Browns/Steelers brawl isn’t going to get any crazier than it already is. Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph will not take legal action against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport writes that “Rudolph considers the situation to be exclusively an NFL matter.” The fact that it was even a consideration underscores just how wild last night’s events were. Rudolph’s agent had even intimated on Twitter that they were seriously considering pursuing a lawsuit or prosecution. In case you somehow missed it, Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, while Maurkice Pouncey got a three-game ban and Rudolph was fined.
  • There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding Saturday’s Colin Kaepernick workout, and the last we heard at least 24 teams were slated to attend. Commissioner Roger Goodell apparently made the decision to have the workout without consulting his usual advisers, and made the call in an impromptu fashion. He obviously wants it to go off without a hitch, and is determined not to have it be a PR nightmare. To that end, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com that there is “zero doubt the league office is twisting arms” to get teams to show up (Twitter link). The whole thing has been a bit bizarre, and the league has been accused by Kaepernick’s allies of setting it up for failure.
  • The league has switched course and said they won’t provide Kaepernick’s reps with a list of those attending, and Florio’s report would seem to indicate there won’t be many top decision-makers at the workout. It’s been unclear whether there would only be low-level scouts on-hand, but the Broncos at least seem to be taking it seriously. Denver is sending top pro scout Jordan Dizon to the workout, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9News.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick Workout

Last night, we heard that there were 11 NFL teams slated to attend Colin Kaepernick‘s workout in Atlanta on Saturday. That number has apparently already increased dramatically. “More than 24” teams are now expected to be at the showcase, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The league recently reversed course and declined to give Kaepernick or his reps a list of who would be attending. It’s unclear at the moment if there will be any high level execs or coaches in attendance, or if it will mostly be lower-level scouts. Meanwhile, Kaepernick has arrived in Atlanta and is preparing for the workout as of this morning, Schefter tweets. In the same tweet, Schefter notes that since the league wouldn’t provide names of the receivers they were going to have on-hand for the workout, Kaepernick is “taking up the former NFL WRs who volunteered to fly in on their own to help him at workout.”

No word yet on who those former NFL receivers are, but there could be some big names. What has never been made clear is how the workout came to be or who exactly came up with the idea. Interestingly, the decision was apparently “made at the highest level of leadership and with the exclusion of many of commissioner Roger Goodell’s usual advisers,” sources told Mike Jones of USA Today.

Jones writes that in addition to team personnel departments and players, people within the league office were surprised by the news on Tuesday as well. Jones also reports that Goodell had “many discussions” on the Kaepernick issue with Jay-Z, a partner in the league’s new social justice initiative. It sounds like the workout came at the direct behest of Goodell, who is apparently looking to quash the criticism the league has faced the past few years for their handling of Kaepernick.

Teams apparently inquired with the league office about Kaepernick’s readiness, but those inquiries were apparently made with an eye toward 2020 rather than the rest of this season. It’ll be interesting to see if anything comes of the workout, and we should know more soon.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick’s NFL Workout

On Thursday, the NFL confirmed eleven teams that will attend Colin Kaepernick‘s weekend workout. The Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Dolphins, Falcons, Giants, Jets, Lions, Patriots, and Redskins will all have representatives in Atlanta to scout the quarterback, but many more teams are expected to take part. 

Kaepernick’s old friends, the 49ers, will be on hand, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports hears. Ditto for the Seahawks, the only organization to audition Kaepernick since he became a free agent (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson).

It would be a shock to see Kaepernick reunite with the 49ers, but stranger things have happened in sports. At minimum, they’re willing to take a look at Kaep to see what kind of shape he is in after a long hiatus from football. It’s worth noting that the Niners did not consider Kaepernick last season when Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a season-ending knee injury. Instead, they tried out the likes of Tom Savage, Kellen Clemens, and T.J. Yates.

The NFL still hasn’t disclosed why they’ve decided to hold this one-man combine for Kaepernick, nor have they explained the reasoning behind the timing. It has been speculated that the league office set up the audition in response to interest from NFL clubs, though those mystery teams are reportedly eyeing Kaepernick as an potential 2020 pickup rather than for the current season.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick’s Upcoming Workout

The NFL will stage a workout for free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Saturday, and — as could have been expected — the event has already become something of a spectacle. We’ve since learned that Kaepernick himself didn’t even know about the audition until the league informed him of it earlier this week, while the NFL is unwilling to budge on date, time, or location.

Here’s more on Kaepernick’s upcoming tryout:

  • The league originally contacted Kaepernick and his camp on Tuesday morning, and subsequently sent out a memo regarding the workout to all NFL teams on Tuesday night, per Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter thread). Because the NFL wanted to hold the workout at a team facility, a Saturday after a club had left for a road game presented the best option.
  • The audition is reportedly largely in response to teams reaching out to the league with interest in Kaepernick, according to Breer. While it may seem odd that clubs didn’t simply contact Kaepernick or his agents, Breer does offer one possible explanation: Kaepernick’s talks with the Seahawks and Ravens — both of whom expressed interest in recent years — ended poorly, so clubs could be “skittish” about negotiating with him.
  • While a late-season workout is certainly curious, it may create a chance for Kaepernick to have a six-week audition with a team with an eye towards 2020, per Breer. Moreover, teams that don’t have a spot for Kaepernick at the moment will at least be able to gather more info on him for a possible 2020 signing.
  • There is confusion as to whether the NFL promised to provide a list of attendees at the workout, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Some sources have told Schefter that Kaepernick was promised such a list, but the league is saying no indication to that effect was ever given.
  • The actual substance of the workout is still unknown as well, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. As of Wednesday night, it was unclear what Kaepernick will actually be doing throwing-wise at the audition, and the quarterback isn’t aware of who he will be throwing to.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick’s Workout

After initially indicating it would release a list of personnel executives who attend Colin Kaepernick‘s upcoming Saturday workout, the NFL has now reversed course and will not do so, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Additionally, a number of teams have contact Kaepernick’s to preemptively apologize for not being in attendance this weekend, noting they were confused by the timing of the workout.

NFL executives weren’t the only ones caught off guard by the planned audition — Kaepernick himself didn’t even know about the workout until the league informed him of it, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. The NFL hasn’t given any indication as to why it’s holding a tryout for Kaepernick at this time, but the league wouldn’t budge on a date, time, or what will happen at the workout.

The workout may be in response to teams contacting the league with interest in Kaepernick, as Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports. Most of said clubs are actually eyeing a Kaepernick signing for the 2020 campaign, per Wyche, not for the current season.

Most teams figure to send scouts or lower-level executives to see Kaepernick, not general managers or head coaches, according to Michael Silver of NFL.com (Twitter link). Most GMs and head coaches are occupied on Saturdays, so a workout on, say, a Tuesday may have made more sense.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.