The National Football League announced on Tuesday that it will hold a private workout for former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was last seen in uniform for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2016 season after drawing a mix of national criticism and praise for his efforts in leading a protest of the national anthem over social injustice issues.
According to Fox Business, in a memo sent to the league’s full slate of 32 teams, Kaepernick will hold the private workout in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday. The workout will not only allow the former quarterback to showcase his talents, but it will also include an interview — presumably an appeal to team owners who may be hesitant to sign him because of previous negative publicity.
Team officials not in attendance will have the opportunity to access video of the workout and interview.
Though the 32-year-old former player has been out of the league for several years, Fox Business reported that some NFL teams have, at some point, inquired about Kaepernick’s current fitness level. The private workout will give teams — especially those riddled with injuries — a chance to find out if Kaepernick is still capable of hacking it in the big leagues.
Because of the large number of injuries since the 2019-2020 NFL season kicked off, backup quarterbacks have started in no less than 35 games, marking a window of opportunity for the former player.
Kaepernick’s career as a starting quarterback dwindled to an end after the 2016 season. He was one of the first professional players to take a knee while the national anthem played before a game, claiming it was his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice — both of which were hot issues at the time.
Several other NFL players followed Kaepernick’s lead and inevitably created headlines essentially every game day as media cameras focused on kneeling players.
He officially ended his contract in San Francisco in 2017 and became a free agent. While there have been some rumors since then of a comeback, none of them panned out.
There actually were two memos sent today about the Saturday workout the NFL planned for Colin Kaepernick: One to GMs, head coaches, et al., and one from Roger Goodell to high-ranking club executives. More from @NFLTotalAccess @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/Uk6uGbIxxs— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 13, 2019
Claiming they were blacklisted within the league because of their national anthem protests, Kaepernick pursued a lawsuit against the NFL alongside former teammate Eric Reid. They and their attorneys claimed at the time that the NFL conspired to keep them unemployed because of their activism.
The two players eventually settled privately with the NFL for an undisclosed amount and Reid eventually signed with the Carolina Panthers.
The upcoming workout is another effort by both Kaepernick and apparently, the NFL, to help the former quarterback land a contract. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, representatives for Kaepernick said that they received little to no response after previously reaching out to all 32 teams on Kaepernick’s behalf.