Colin Kaepernick plans comeback as multiple NFL teams and 1 head coach 'absolutely interested' in signing him
Following his kneeling protests against police brutality, Kaepernick was out in the cold when his contract with San Francisco 49ers was not renewed
After three years on the sidelines, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick could be making a comeback to the NFL as calls for his return continue to gain traction.
Speaking on the league's very own NFL Network, reporter Michael Silver revealed that "multiple" teams and at least one head coach are currently showing interest in the 32-year-old and could sign him before the start of next season. "I have talked to one head coach who is absolutely interested," Silver said, adding that the current hold-up had to do with the coronavirus pandemic rendering teams unable to conduct workouts at their training facilities to size Kaepernick up.
"Colin Kaepernick, who has not played since 2016, finds himself in the same situation that (free agents) Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney do, which is a team that would be ready to sign him would want to work him out," Silver said.
Kaepernick's standoff with the NFL and its teams started during the 49ers' third preseason game of 2016 when he sat during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before the game as a protest against racial injustice, police brutality and systemic oppression in the country.
The stance was a highly controversial one at the time, with President Donald Trump even announcing that the NFL should "fire" players who protested during the national anthem. Kaepernick became a free agent after the season and went unsigned.
It did appear as though the quarterback would make his comeback this past February, when he arranged for a private workout session at the Atlanta Falcons training facility and distributed the memo to all 32 NFL teams in the hope interested scouts would attend.
However, the location was shifted to a high school stadium at the last minute and saw only a few attendants. In the end, it was Jordan Veasy, a football hopeful who assisted him in his workout, who was offered an NFL contract.
Following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, Kaepernick's name has come back to the fore, with hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country photographed kneeling in front of police on the streets as a gesture of resistance.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who had once tried to ban players from kneeling, released a video on the NFL's official Twitter page where he expressed regret for not listening to the league's players and admitted he was wrong. He later told ESPN he would gladly "welcome" Kaepernick back.
The Daily Mail reported that at least one team, the Los Angeles Chargers, is keeping tabs on the 32-year-old, with its coach Anthony Lynn stating he would be a "good" fit for his offense. "It would be crazy to not have him on your workout list," he said last week.
NFL team facilities are still closed because of the pandemic, though steps have been taken recently to move towards normalcy, with the league releasing a 13-page memo detailing the steps to be taken before players and staff are allowed to return.