Colin Kaepernick’s weekend workout was decried as a “debacle,” but the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback could still find his way onto an NFL roster by the end of the season.
Kaepernick abruptly pulled out of a league-planned workout for Saturday after his camp said the NFL would not authorize them allowing media to tape the workout. That led the former Super Bowl starter to hastily plan his own workout close to 60 miles from where the league-planned event had been set up in Atlanta, with only eight scouts turning up. Kaepernick said he wanted his workout to be as transparent as possible, and that may have worked out in his favor as video of his passing garnered significant attention and earned some good grades for his crisp throws and still-strong arm.
As Dave Schillling wrote for NBC News, the workout turned into a “debacle” due to the league’s unfair demands of Kaepernick. Though many have pointed fingers at the NFL for the unusual restrictions on media at the workout and last-minute changes, Kaepernick too has taken some criticism among many who believe that he is simply seeking attention and not earnestly trying to find a new NFL team.
But despite the circus that surrounded the workout, there are indications that Kaepernick could still find another NFL home before the end of this season. Bleacher Report had noted before the workout that there were at least two teams with significant interest in Kaepernick, and that with a strong showing, he could find himself back on an NFL roster again this season.
Kaepernick seems to have delivered on that end. He earned plenty of praise for the impromptu workout, especially his arm strength and accuracy on his deep balls. The biggest concern expressed by scouts going into the workout was whether three years away from football could have eroded his skills. Kaepernick found success with the San Francisco 49ers through his strong arm that could stretch defenses and strong running ability that kept them from fully selling out on the pass — so any loss of arm strength or athleticism likely would have closed the door on any hope of coming back.
Look at this deep bomb. Question answered. Kaepernick still has his arm. pic.twitter.com/EkYO05Uk3C— Adam Best (@adamcbest) November 16, 2019
After today’s workout in Atlanta, an NFL executive at Colin Kaepernick’s throwing session said his arm talent is “elite” and is the same as when he came out of college. He said that Kaepernick threw the ball well.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2019
For his part, Kaepernick has consistently said that he is ready to return to the NFL at any time and has worked to stay in game-ready shape during his time out of the league. Whether there is any team willing to give him a chance remains to be seen, as so far there are no concrete reports connecting any teams to signing Kaepernick.