Former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick will have a potential shot at landing a job on Saturday during an NFL-sponsored workout, but an ESPN personality said on Wednesday that the free agent “needs to shut up” if he’s serious about joining a team.
According to Sporting News, the NFL will be hosting a combine-style private workout for the former quarterback in an effort to assist him in securing a spot on one of the league’s 32 teams. All teams were invited to the Saturday workout, to be held in Atlanta, where Kaepernick will also do an interview, presumably one in which he expresses his desire to play professional football again.
Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016 and was largely criticized at the time for being the leader of the “take a knee” protests. In those silent demonstrations, players knelt while the national anthem played before the start of a game as a way of protesting ongoing social injustice issues.
ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith provided a blunt opinion on Kaepernick’s prospects at once again putting on the helmet and pads, and playing at a pro level. Smith explained that the opportunity is there for the 32-year-old quarterback, but it’s on him to not blow it.
“There’s only two things that will prevent Colin Kaepernick from having a job in the NFL,” Smith said in a radio interview before pointing out the obvious first caveat — that if Kaepernick’s abilities have dwindled, none of the teams will have an interest in him.
The second thing Smith pointed out was a direct reference to Kaepernick’s past activism both on the field and on the internet, which many claim was his downfall that led to his exit from the league in early 2017.
“The other thing that could be a hindrance is if he opens his damn mouth and starts talking too much, and scares these teams off and gives them the indication that more of what transpired, that led to all of this, will continue forward,” Smith said.
“Only Colin Kaepernick can mess it up. It’s beyond all of that other stuff now. He needs to shut up. No Instagram. No Twitter. No anything. Show up Saturday, work out. Don’t say a word before then.”
After providing his take on the matter, which was presumably a bit of tough-love advice directed at Kaepernick, Smith said that as long as he can still play and as long as he keeps his head down, he’ll have a job within the next few weeks.
The NFL says Colin Kaepernick’s workout is “in no way a PR stunt,” per @wyche89.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 13, 2019
One team executive believes many teams are scouting Kap to judge his readiness for next season. pic.twitter.com/mhjwUNCj6d
As The Inquisitr recently reported, rumors have already swirled surrounding potential teams who might be interested in signing the talented quarterback, especially given the unusually high number of injuries that have plagued starting quarterbacks in the 2019-2020 season.
The Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and the Detroit Lions have all been touted as potential homes for Kaepernick. Those teams have experienced various issues that require a boost to their quarterback corps.