Colin Kaepernick’s road back to the NFL could go through New England.
As the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback mounted his comeback bid with a public workout on Saturday, there is some speculation that the Patriots may take a chance on him in an effort to bolster the depth behind Tom Brady. As the Fansided blog Chowder and Champions noted, Kaepernick could be a good fit for New England and particularly useful to the Patriots scout team.
The report noted that Kaepernick could help the team prepare for similar duel-threat quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, adding that Kaepernick could also help give guidance to Jarrett Stidham in his development behind Brady.
Kaepernick worked out for NFL teams on Saturday in what ended up being an impromptu exhibition at a high school outside of Atlanta. As ESPN noted, the league had set up a private workout for the former Super Bowl starter, but would not agree to his request to open it up to media in the name of transparency, so Kaepernick organized his own event. After initial reports that as many as 24 teams planned to watch the workout, Kaepernick ended up working out for only eight.
Still, the quarterback looked sharp in his 40 passes and said afterward that he was ready to come back to the NFL.
“I’ve been ready for three years,” Kaepernick said. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why I came out here. [I] showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people.”
While some teams may be hesitant to sign Kaepernick and the scrutiny that could come with it, the New England Patriots have a reputation for being unfazed by such issues. The Patriots took a chance on Antonio Brown earlier this year, signed Tim Tebow into training camp in 2013, and have been able to handle the high pressure of being a perennial Super Bowl favorite.
Kaepernick also appears to have the support of the face of the Patriots franchise. As CBS Boston reported, Brady said he believes Kaepernick will be able to overcome the difficulties of a three-year absence from the NFL to make a successful comeback.
“To have time off is a challenge, but Colin’s overcome a lot of challenges in his career, and he’s always found a way to produce,” Brady said. “He’s very mentally tough, and I think it’s pretty cool that he’s getting that opportunity.”