Colin Kaepernick could have a real chance to return to the NFL this offseason, with rumors connecting the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to both the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins.
Kaepernick missed the entire 2017 season after opting out of his 49ers contract to become a free agent. Though many pundits considered him among the top prospects statistics-wise, Kaepernick was passed over for every opening. Backers believe that Kaepernick is being black-balled for his national anthem protest, and Kaepernick himself is suing the NFL claiming that owners are colluding against him to keep him out of the league.
But that exile could soon be over. In the past few weeks, there have been some growing rumors around the NFL that Colin Kaepernick could be returning soon. A report from the Palm Beach Post noted that Kaepernick could be the perfect fit for the Miami Dolphins, who need a good insurance policy behind the now injury-prone Ryan Tannehill.
As the report noted, Kaepernick would be an immediate upgrade at the backup position.
“Kaepernick can help the Dolphins win. He wouldn’t be coming in to compete against Tannehill, who will be Gase’s unquestioned starter if healthy, but he’s a more proven option than David Fales or anyone they might pick up in the draft.”
Miami is not the only potential destination for Colin Kaepernick. There have also been reports that he could end up with the Oakland Raiders, and the team’s recent coaching hire could have something to do with it.
As 24/7 Sports noted, there was some concern that the Raiders violated the league’s Rooney Rule in hiring Jon Gruden. While the NFL cleared the team of any wrongdoing, there is speculation that there may be a string attached — that the team signs Colin Kaepernick as atonement, which would also bring an end to his collusion lawsuit.
Here is the interesting part. I’m told the league office told the Raiders (paraphrasing): we looked out for you on the Rooney rule, now help us by signing Kaepernick, and helping to end the collusion case. 4/
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 23, 2018
If there was any truth to the speculation that Kaepernick was being blackballed, that resistance may be softening. Since then, a number of other players have started protesting as well, and Kaepernick has earned plenty of good will with his philanthropy.
Colin Kaepernick completes his $1 million pledge for underserved communities https://t.co/dSRyJwDg5k
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 1, 2018
While there are rumors circulating about Colin Kaepernick returning to the NFL, there are not yet any solid reports that teams are taking a look at him. And the controversial quarterback has been a frequent topic for speculation, so any reports about his return to the NFL could be taken with a grain of salt.