Colin Kaepernick

No Deal Imminent Between Raiders, Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick‘s Wednesday workout with the Raiders put the high-profile passer back squarely on the NFL radar. The audition has not produced a signing, and it does not look like an agreement will come to pass in the near future.

Although the Raiders viewed Kaepernick’s workout positively,’s Jeremy Fowler notes no deal is imminent. Teams often circle back to workout players down the road, and a recent report indicated two other teams showed some level of interest in Kaepernick. For now, the Raiders are sticking with their Nick MullensJarrett Stidham duo behind Derek Carr. The recently added backups may have OTAs and minicamp to prove themselves as viable QB2 options.

Although Las Vegas could potentially upgrade with Kaepernick as its backup to Carr, the former San Francisco starter has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season. The 34-year-old quarterback, by all accounts thus far, displayed quality arm strength and good fitness at his workout. That is impressive considering how long it has been since his controversial stay in free agency began. Rust should be understandable, given the circumstances.

The Raiders are not believed to be viewing Kaepernick as a player who would contribute in a Marcus Mariota fashion in specialty packages. They are looking for a Carr backup. Josh McDaniels did head the Patriots’ Cam Newton-led offense in 2020, but the veteran play-caller’s career has mostly featured pocket QBs.

McDaniels, of course, broke into the OC ranks with Tom Brady. After helping the 2008 Patriots to an 11-5 season with Matt Cassel starting 15 games, McDaniels parlayed that into a head-coaching opportunity in Denver, where he promptly swapped out Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton. Although McDaniels did greenlight a trade up for Tim Tebow in the 2010 first round, Tebow did not make any starts under McDaniels, who spent the 2011 season running a Rams offense that primarily featured Sam Bradford at the controls. The least mobile of the five QBs chosen in Round 1 last year, Mac Jones rounded out McDaniels’ Patriots run, replacing Newton.

Newton remains a free agent but has only been connected to the Panthers this offseason. The pickings at quarterback are otherwise slim, headlined by Josh RosenBlake Bortles and ex-Raider Mike Glennon. Ryan Fitzpatrick, 39, has not yet retired and has proven more than this group as a backup option, but he missed 16 games due to injury last season.

Latest On Raiders, Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick‘s Raiders workout occurred Wednesday, and although Josh McDaniels did not address how the high-profile free agent performed, some indications have emerged that the one-time Super Bowl starter accounted himself well.

The former 49ers quarterback displayed good arm strength and conditioning, according to’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).’s Ian Rapoport also notes the 34-year-old passer impressed at his Las Vegas audition (video link), adding the door for a potential Kaepernick-Raiders agreement is open. Another source was high on Kaepernick’s arm strength and fitness, via USA Today’s Josina Anderson, while also pointing out the difference between a Raiders-organized workout and an independent session was noticeable at points (Twitter links).

Two other teams are believed to have shown some interest in Kaepernick this offseason, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio offers. It will be interesting to see if another workout takes place. Prior to the Raiders’ invite, Kaepernick had not been a fixture on the NFL radar in 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. Otherwise, it has been quiet for the the player who has not played in a game since New Year’s Day 2017.

Exiled from the league after his protests of racial injustice during the national anthem created one of the biggest controversies in NFL history, which also led to the league settling with Kaepernick and Eric Reid on a collusion lawsuit, Kaepernick is obviously short on time to make an NFL comeback. Mark Davis has signed off on a deal, if his football staff views Kaepernick as a fit.

The Raiders used Marcus Mariota as Derek Carr‘s backup over the past two seasons, and the former Titans talent was featured in occasional sub-packages aimed to take advantage of his mobility. (Mariota is now with the Falcons.) As of now, it is not believed the Raiders would have such a plan for Kaepernick. They view him as a potential Carr backup option and not a player who would be used in specialty packages, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore.

Although Kaepernick displayed electric running ability as a young player, peaking with one of the NFL’s great playoff rushing performances in a 49ers rout of the Packers in the 2012 divisional round, his being away from the game for so long would stand to impact his athleticism. It also might be too early to speculate on a prospective role, given the unique circumstances surrounding the University of Nevada alum.

Currently, Las Vegas rosters Jarrett Stidham and Nick Mullens behind Carr. The Raiders also have rookie UDFA Chase Garbers (Cal) on their offseason roster. Stidham, who has attempted 48 career passes in eight games as a backup, played three seasons in McDaniels’ Patriots offense. He did not see any time in 2021. Mullens has far more experience, having made 17 starts in four seasons despite a being a former UDFA. He started a game for the Browns last season, with Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum out due to COVID-19. Carr has been one of the NFL’s most durable quarterbacks during his career, missing just three games (counting the Raiders’ 2016 wild-card playoff loss) in eight seasons.

Raiders To Work Out Colin Kaepernick

The Raiders will become the first team in five years to give Colin Kaepernick a workout. Out of the NFL since the 2016 season, the former 49ers quarterback is auditioning for the Raiders on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of reports.

Kaepernick, now 34, returned to the spotlight earlier this year by continuing his workouts and making comments about still seeking an NFL return. Kaepernick’s trainer said in March he had spoken with multiple teams, and Mark Davis said back in 2020 he had given his blessing for the Raiders to sign the polarizing quarterback at any point since his long free agency stay began in 2017.

GM Dave Ziegler will join Josh McDaniels and Co. for the workout, Albert Breer of tweets. New Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi was on the 49ers’ staff from 2013-16. Kaepernick also returns to Nevada, where he starred in college prior to being a 2011 second-round pick.

The Raiders began their OTA sessions Monday and have a day off today; the team is scheduled to finish off its first week of OTAs Thursday. It is not out of the question their quarterback room could have a high-profile addition by that point, though it is far from certain the Raiders will move forward here.

Kaepernick merely receiving this opportunity is surprising, considering how long it has been since his last workout for a team (with the Seahawks, in May 2017) and how long it has been since the NFL-sanctioned/Kaepernick-adjusted Georgia workout (November 2019) commenced. The six-year 49er did, however, throw at Michigan’s spring game — one that featured NFL staffers present — after receiving an invite from former coach Jim Harbaugh.

The Raiders have an unquestioned starter in Derek Carr, whose recent career rebound enticed the new Las Vegas regime to extend him earlier this offseason, and added ex-Patriot Jarrett Stidham and ex-49er Nick Mullens behind him. Kaepernick’s profile and accomplishments obviously dwarf both of Carr’s current backups, but the former Super Bowl starter has not thrown a regular-season pass since New Year’s Day 2017.

Even if the quarterback’s NFL exile was only about ability, he would still face long odds at re-establishing himself. Teams have steered clear of the talented passer/runner since his decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem, protesting racial injustice and police brutality, caused a firestorm for the NFL. The fallout from that led to Kaepernick and former 49ers teammate Eric Reid suing the league for collusion and receiving a settlement in 2019.

Reid received another opportunity, with the Panthers signing him in 2018 and giving him an extension months later. Always the more divisive figure as a well-known quarterback and the leader of the racially inspired movement, Kaepernick never was granted such a chance. Given this and the time that has elapsed, Kaepernick returning to an NFL sideline would be one of the most astonishing comebacks in sports history.

You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of your end zone. You have ‘Black Lives Matter’ on your helmet. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly,” Kaepernick said during an appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast. “It’s a $16 billion business. When I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1. When I did the deal with Nike, their value increased by six billion dollars. Six billion. With a B.

… So if you’re talking about the business side, it shows [it’s] beneficial. If you’re talking about the playing side, come in, let me compete. You can evaluate me from there. The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. If I’m not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you.”

At his best under Harbaugh, Kaepernick guided the 49ers to back-to-back NFC championship games and nearly led a comeback win in Super Bowl XLVII. Post-Harbaugh, the 49ers steadily deteriorated, leading to multiple coaching changes. Kaepernick finished 29th in QBR in 2015 and 23rd in 2016 and opted out of his 49ers contract before the Kyle Shanahan regime was prepared to release him. Teams in need of a backup or an emergency starter passed on Kaepernick in the years that followed, and he became mentioned less and less in connection with various in-season QB openings.

The Nevada alum’s profile has obviously soared in the years since, and seeing if the Raiders — set to enter next season with the most optimism surrounding their contender status in many years — sign Kaepernick instantly becomes one of this offseason’s top storylines.

NFC Notes: Packers, Cousins, Seahawks, Kaepernick

Following the mass exodus of the Packers’ staff this offseason, longtime NFL quarterbacks coach Tom Clements received a phone call from his old player, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as reported by Ryan Wood of Packers News.

Rodgers had just watched the dissolution of the Packers’ 2021 coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett departed to Denver for a head coaching position. Passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy took an offensive coordinator job for the rival Bears.

Clements was enjoying retirement, looking forward to heading into Year 2 of armchair quarterbacking like the rest of us. Clements claimed he “didn’t have the itch to come back,” but after conversations with Rodgers and Packers head coach Matt LeFleur, Clements found himself back in the NFL, returning to his longest tenured home from his first stint in coaching.

Here are a few other notes from around the NFC, starting with another note from the North:

  • Following a shiny new deal from the Vikings, quarterback Kirk Cousins appears content to finish his NFL career in Minnesota, according to The Athletic’s Chad Graff. Cousins certainly didn’t need an early extension. He set an example years ago for how a player can bet on himself, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to be franchise-tagged in consecutive years then signing the league’s first ever (and highest at the time) fully-guaranteed contract. Despite this history, Cousins agreed to a deal that freed up some cap space for Minnesota. When asked why he agreed to this deal, Cousins simply stated, “The short answer is: I want to be a Minnesota Viking.”
  • Jason La Canfora wrote a piece Friday asserting his belief that two quarterbacks will go in the Top 10 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft, notably that he expects Atlanta and Carolina to select one of Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. If either NFC South franchise ends up addressing another position, though, La Canfora expects Seattle to fulfill his prediction with the No. 9 overall pick. Should neither quarterback be available to the Seahawks, several executives believe that Seattle would trade back, allowing teams who are hungry to select a specific prospect to relinquish some of their draft capital while keeping alive the Seahawks ability to draft a value-player without reaching.
  • Should Seattle not find a quarterback in the Draft, one option they’ve kicked the tires on is former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick hasn’t played since January of 2017, but has stayed in shape amidst lawsuits and accusations against the NFL that settled in 2019. A connection was reported with the Seahawks in March after some comments from head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll gave an update, as reported by USA Today’s Scooby Axson, saying that, while not much has progressed in terms of a contract, Carroll notices the work Kaepernick has put in and admires the 34-year-old’s desire to compete. No deal seems imminent, but Kaepernick remains a possibility should Seattle strike out in the Draft later this month.

Colin Kaepernick Drawing Interest From NFL Teams?

Colin Kaepernick is reportedly catching the eye of NFL teams. As reported by TMZ, a recent workout he had with renowned trainer David Robinson has generated interest the quarterback returning to the league. 

Robinson says that “multiple NFL teams have contacted him” regarding Kaepernick. More specifically, he adds that “at least” five different clubs have been in communication with him following a recent training session the two participated in at the beginning of March.

“A few teams have reached out to me and asked how his arm looked,” said Robinson, who has worked with a number of high-profile players in the NFL. “He definitely has the ability to play on somebody’s roster… He looked real good“.

The 34-year-old last played in 2016 with the 49ers, who drafted him in 2011. He started 58 of 69 games with the team, winning the NFC championship in 2012. Now six years removed from playing, however, many have doubted he would land a deal with an NFL team, despite reports indicating otherwise in past years. Kaepernick has been “traveling all over the country this month,” as the report says, though, demonstrating his willingness to re-enter the league.

Pete Carroll mentioned recently he spoke with Kaepernick, but no team has been seriously connected to the polarizing passer since the Seahawks nixed a visit with him in 2018. Kaepernick also met with the Seahawks in 2017. Kaepernick sent Carroll workout videos recently, though the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta notes the 13th-year Seahawks HC was noncommittal when asked about a potential meeting with the former 49ers QB.

Still hopeful. There’s been a lot of conversation around it. Again, we’ve had conversations with Pete and John [Schneider] previously,” Kaepernick said, via Condotta. “As Pete mentioned, we have spoken recently and still hoping that door is open and get a chance to walk through it.”

On that point, Robinson has optimism a return could happen. “I definitely think that this go-around, he may get a shot,” he said — something which could further add to a QB market which has already seen sizable movement take place this offseason.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick

It’s looking more and more likely that Colin Kaepernick will be “back in the league soon,” Mike Garafolo of reports (via Twitter). Multiple teams have been doing their homework on the quarterback, though those teams reportedly have not reached out to Kaep directly.

Garafolo’s sources tell him that teams have been in communication with people close to Kaepernick, even if they haven’t chatted with the QB or his agent. Garafolo’s understanding is that they’re first looking to do their research and gauge Kaepernick’s interest in joining. If those teams are satisfied with what they find and confident that they can come to terms, they’ll engage in contract talks.

Of course, that’s not the typical order of operations for free agents, but Kaepernick is anything but the typical free agent. It’s fair to wonder whether some teams are looking to keep their interest on the hush in order to avoid a PR backlash. Still, some NFL officials have been willing to go on the record in favor of Kaepernick. Recently, newly appointed Lions principal owner Shiela Ford Hamp said that she would authorize the signing Kaep if her football people wanted him on the team.

Kaep also found support from Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, who said that he should be on every club’s emergency workout list. Meanwhile, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll recently expressed regret over not signing Kaepernick back in 2017.

Kaepernick, 33 in November, has not played since the 2016 season. But, based on what we’ve been hearing lately, it sounds like he could be back on the field in 2020.

Lions Notes: COVID, Stafford, Kaepernick

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has authorized the return of professional sports, as we learned earlier this morning. She made it clear that capacity crowds will not be permitted until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, but Lions team president Rod Wood is trying to get Ford Field opened up to fans just the same. Wood released the following statement via the team’s official Twitter account.

“Governor Whitmer’s most recent Executive Order is an exciting step forward in our preparation for the 2020 season. We are working closely with her office to evaluate when and how we can safely play in front of our fans. With nearly 3 months until our regular season home opener at Ford Field, I’m optimistic and encouraged by our progress.”

It seems that most, if not all, teams will be playing in front of empty or partially-full stadiums in 2020, and Wood is hopeful that his club will be able to generate at least some gate revenue this year.

Now for more on the Lions:

  • Lions QB Matthew Stafford has been saying for some time that he is fully healthy, and the team posted a brief video clip of its signal-caller working out with teammates, which suggests that Stafford is indeed ready to go (Twitter link). While that’s certainly encouraging, it’s also notable that the workout is in contravention of the advice of NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer, who said players should not be practicing together privately. Stafford is by no means the only QB1 to be participating in workouts, and as Michael Rothstein of writes, the 32-year-old signal-caller has made adjustments to try and keep himself and his teammates healthy.
  • Sheila Ford Hamp will take over her mother’s duties as principal owner and chairperson of the Lions, and she said she is going to take a very hands-on approach (Twitter link via Rothstein). Given Lions fans’ general feelings towards the Ford family, that may or may not be welcome, but Hamp said her first course of business will be to meet with members of the organization’s departments that she is less familiar with. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets, Hamp specifically noted that she wants to learn more about the analytics side of the operation.
  • Hamp has also said that she would sign off on the team’s acquisition of QB Colin Kaepernick if her football people thought it was in the club’s best interests (video link via Ian Rapoport of The Lions, though, appear to be an imperfect schematic fit for Kaepernick, and in any event, neither Detroit nor any other club has reached out to him yet.

No Teams Have Reached Out To Colin Kaepernick

Earlier this month, we heard that there has been significant recent interest in free agent signal-caller Colin Kaepernick, much more than there has been in the past several years. Given the sustained nationwide outcry over George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police, as well as recent statements made by commissioner Roger Goodell, it seems that clubs are increasingly amenable to signing Kaepernick.

But according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, if teams are indeed interested, they have not let Kaepernick or his agent know about it. So while it’s possible that clubs are simply waiting to pull the trigger until they can bring him in to their facilities — which is why a number of high-profile free agents are still on the market — it’s also possible that the general push to see Kaepernick back in the league may eventually blow over without him getting another opportunity.

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that Kaepernick should be on every team’s emergency workout list, but he has not spoken with the 32-year-old passer directly and does not have immediate plans to bring him in for a look. Meanwhile, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll recently expressed regret over not signing Kaepernick after he took a free agent visit in 2017, but Seattle is not interested at this time.

As Kaepernick has not played in an NFL game since 2016, any team that does sign him would obviously view him as a backup. Presumably, such a team would be one with a mobile starting quarterback and an offensive system that plays to its QB’s running abilities.

Kaepernick took the league by storm in 2012, when he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance. And while he was solid the following year, his play subsequently began to taper off, and he was ultimately benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert in 2015. Gabbert won the starting job prior to the start of the 2016 campaign, though Kaepernick replaced Gabbert a few weeks into the season and played pretty well down the stretch.

Colin Kaepernick NFL Return Gaining Steam?

Although Colin Kaepernick has not played since the 2016 season, the quarterback has remained a fixture in NFL news cycles for most of his free agency stay. And momentum appears to be growing for the former 49ers passer to receive another opportunity.

In discussing Kaepernick with some NFL head coaches,’s Ian Rapoport indicates there is “far, far more interest” in the 32-year-old passer now than there probably has been since he became a free agent in March 2017 (video link). While a few hurdles would remain — particularly in this coronavirus-marred offseason — Rapoport adds that teams’ interest in Kaepernick for a backup job is “very real.”

It has been well-documented the former Super Bowl starter has received only one opportunity to visit a team; that came with the Seahawks in 2017. Pete Carroll said he now regrets not signing him at that point but added that his team is content at quarterback now. Although a handful of teams stayed in Atlanta for the NFL-organized workout Kaepernick rearranged at the 11th hour last fall, no franchise has brought in the polarizing free agent since the Seahawks did so in during the summer of 2017.

Kaepernick had drifted off the NFL radar to a degree after his workout last year, but the worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality over the past three weeks have reignited the push for the player that started the NFL protests on this front to receive another chance. Roger Goodell called for Kaepernick to be given another opportunity this week.

It will take a team to make that happen, and much like Cam Newton, Kaepernick would likely have to wait until free agents are allowed to visit teams to have the chance to sign anywhere. That window may not open until late July, when training camps begin. That said, recent Jets signee Joe Flacco is not expected to be recovered from neck surgery until at least September. Newton would rank higher on quarterback-needy teams’ pecking orders than Kaepernick, but the former MVP profiles more as a starter — potentially if a team’s QB1 suffers an injury. Kaepernick interest appears to be contingent on a backup gig.

One of the teams connected to Newton this offseason discussed Kaepernick on Wednesday. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said (via Lindsey Thiry of Kaepernick would fit his system but added that such an opportunity would likely be contingent on an emergency-type situation (Twitter link via’s Andrew Siciliano). Lynn said he has not spoken with Kaepernick.

While’s Jeremy Fowler notes (via Twitter) the Chargers have come up around the league as a potential Kaepernick fit, joining the Titans in that regard, Lynn said he was happy with the three quarterbacks he has. The Bolts — they of a Tyrod TaylorJustin HerbertEaston Stick QB depth chart — having passed on Newton earlier this year provides a pretty good indication they are content at quarterback for the time being.

Pete Carroll Regrets Not Signing Colin Kaepernick In 2017

The only team to invite Colin Kaepernick for a visit since he became a free agent in 2017, the Seahawks remain tied to the quarterback’s lengthy saga. Pete Carroll now regrets not signing the former 49ers passer then, given the information he now possesses.

The 11th-year Seahawks coach said he views a potential Kaepernick addition then as a missed opportunity “knowing what we know now,” per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Carroll said in 2017 he viewed Kaepernick as a starter, and with Russell Wilson in the fold, the Seahawks moved on. It is unclear what salary demands Kaepernick had at that point, and the Seahawks — with Wilson never missing a start — were able to get away with lower-level backup quarterbacks in 2017 and ’18.

Carroll said Thursday he assumed someone else would sign Kaepernick — via Condotta, on Twitter — but until last year’s NFL-organized (then Kaepernick-rearranged) workout, the free agent quarterback did not receive another opportunity.

While the Seahawks’ Wilson-fronted QB structure remains the same three years later, Carroll said the team is not interested in Kaepernick now, Condotta tweets. The Seahawks re-signed Geno Smith earlier this offseason and added Anthony Gordon as a UDFA. Carroll did say he received a phone call Thursday from another team on Kaepernick. This marks the first such call he’s received, per Condotta (on Twitter).

Although Kaepernick had drifted off the NFL radar after his workout last year, numerous players have pushed for him to receive another chance in recent days. George Floyd’s death continues to ignite protests around the world. Teams across the sports world have issued statements denouncing systemic racism, and Roger Goodell made a speech on the subject last week. While the commissioner did not mention Kaepernick by name, the player who started the protest movement in the NFL has naturally been a frequent conversation topic in light of current events.

Kaepernick, now 32, reportedly continues to train for a potential opportunity. After the quarterback settled a collusion grievance with the league and made last-minute changes to a workout invite, it would probably be the most notable free agent addition in NFL history were the former 49ers starter to catch on with another team.