First, Colin Kaepernick didn’t have a job because he was demanding a $10 million salary and a starting role. Then, it was because teams just didn’t think he was a starting-caliber quarterback. And after that, teams reportedly were worried about his vegan diet.
But now it seems none of those scenarios were correct, as multiple writers reported Thursday that not a single NFL team reached out to even ask about financials, let alone bring Kaepernick in for a workout.
While it’s been floated around that Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league for protesting the Star-Spangled Banner last season, there hasn’t been much hard evidence, as one of the aforementioned excuses has come to light any time the media has gone around asking. But based on sources who spoke to The Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami and Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson, those original sources were either misinformed or flat-out lying.
Here’s what Kawakami had to say Tuesday:
A source tells me that Kaepernick to this point has had no serious talks with any team about a contract and has had no meetings, which means he has not demanded a starting role or a $10M salary or a $5M salary or any of the other things circulating among the NFL gossip mill recently.
There is zero evidence that any team has come anywhere close to signing Kaepernick, and a source close to Kaepernick told me yesterday that they have not discussed even general money terms with anybody this offseason.
And Kaepernick is not demanding a guaranteed starting role. How could he if he hasn’t had a single serious conversation with a team?
I don’t know if Kaepernick would accept a bare minimum contract like Blaine Gabbert (!!! More on Gabbert in a bit), who just reportedly signed with Arizona to be the second- or third-string QB behind Carson Palmer, but I do know, from the same source, that not a single team has asked if he would accept it.
So how could Kaepernick be demanding anything of anybody? To thin air?
While all the original reports satisfied some, it’s hard to deny that each of them came with some skepticism. It’s been a quarterback-needy offseason, and as The Big Lead’s Jason Lisk pointed out, 54 different QB’s started in 2016. That means all those teams in need of help would have to think Kaepernick wasn’t in the top 50 to pass on him as even a second- or third-string quarterback. Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Kaepernick’s name came up in discussions, and Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was too good to not get signed, yet Kaepernick still is unemployed.
Meanwhile, Tom Savage is the Texans’ starting signal-caller, and Ryan Mallett will back up Joe Flacco for the Ravens in 2017.
So, maybe Kaepernick is being pushed out of the NFL because of his politics, whether it be because of some owners’ conflicting views or because they’re afraid of losing money from fans who might not like Kaepernick. But it seems fairly certain now that it’s not a financial issue, so it should be interesting to see what teams have to say next.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images