Due to the ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of now-former Minneapolis police officers, rumors have again started to swirl around free agent Colin Kaepernick and a possible return to the NFL for the first time in over three years. As recently cited, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll claimed that a representative from an unnamed team asked him about the quarterback earlier in the week.
On Thursday night, NBC Sports’ Joe Fann took to Twitter, where he said that Carroll supposedly received a call from a team official regarding Kaepernick. Although Carroll did not mention whether the official is a head coach or a general manager, nor did he specify which organization they represented, he was quoted as saying that “someone is interested” in the 32-year-old signal-caller.
According to ClutchPoints, Carroll might have received the inquiry about Kaepernick because the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback had worked out with the Seahawks in 2017, shortly after he opted out of his contract with the Niners.
Pete Carroll told reporters a team is ‘interested’ in Kaepernick and called the Seahawks today asking about their conversations with him in 2017 pic.twitter.com/iWPpjpWrRu
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 11, 2020
As pointed out by Bleacher Report, the protests over Floyd’s death and the issues of systemic racism and police brutality have sparked multiple “conversations” about how Kaepernick has not played a down in the NFL since the conclusion of the 2016 campaign. The quarterback began his peaceful protests over the latter two issues during that same season, choosing to kneel during the pre-game national anthem. He was eventually joined by several other players.
Although the NFL had sought to ban kneeling in 2018 and had “attempted to distance itself” from players who engage in such protests, Bleacher Report noted that the league, via commissioner Roger Goodell, recently admitted that it may have mishandled the issue. Last week, Goodell said in a video statement that the NFL was “wrong for not listening” to these protesting athletes, adding that he now encourages the league’s players to “speak out and peacefully protest.” The commissioner, however, did not mention Kaepernick by name when he made his statement.
While it’s still too early to say whether Carroll’s comments will be followed up by more specific information on which team may be interested in Kaepernick, the onetime Super Bowl participant is reportedly training on a daily basis, with sources claiming he is currently in the “best shape of his life.” However, ClutchPoints cautioned that there has “always been a sort of hesitancy” among NFL teams regarding Kaepernick, even with the league seemingly changing its stance on the issue of peaceful protests.