After Head coach Matt Nagy refused to divulge any information to the media regarding whether or not the Chicago Bears would have a representative at the workout organized for Colin Kaepernick, we now know the answer.
Late Saturday afternoon, Atlanta Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure broke the news that representatives and/or scouts from the Chicago Bears organization were in fact, originally in attendance. “Looks like Bears and Jaguars here,” McClure wrote. McClure, a writer for ESPN, is also a former Chicago Bears beat writer, which explains how he recognized Bears representatives. The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, who covers the Carolina Panthers, also noted that reps from the Bears were present at the NFL’s sanctioned workout.
While it seems that the Bears were originally among the 25 teams that were going to attend the NFL’s sanctioned workout for Kaepernick, they did not attend his newly arranged one, and were not among the eight NFL teams present at Riverdale. So it appears that Chicago originally had representatives in Atlanta, but they decided to nix visiting Kaepernick’s workout after all. What gives?
The early word on how well Kaep performed in his workout is in–and it’s overwhelmingly positive. USA Today’s Doug Farrar said of Kaepernick: “Outstanding velocity, everything on a rope, can make any throw.” Others were complimentary of what they saw from Kaepernick on Saturday, as well.
Bears Have Major Needs at Quarterback
Whether we’re talking about Mitchell Trubisky or backup Chase Daniel, the Bears have had one of the worst offenses in the league all season regardless of who has been under center. Some have argued that Bears coach Matt Nagy is limiting Trubisky with his bad play-calling; other argue Nagy is limited with what he can call when Trubisky is under center.
When word broke that the NFL was giving Kaepernick a tryout on Saturday, several members of the Bears sports media–along with several members of the national media–spoke up in favor of the Bears giving Kaep a shot.
Whether the team takes a huge chance on a player as controversial as Kaepernick remains to be seen, but the fact that they reportedly sent reps to Georgia who then left after the workout was no longer put on by the league raises a few eyebrows. Why go all that way and not see what you came to see? The Bears were not alone in this regard. The NFL said 25 teams were interested and would be present to see the workout–and one of those 25 teams was apparently the Bears, according to McClure and Rodrigue–yet only eight of those teams followed Kaepernick to the new workout in Riverdale.
Kaepernick Workout Changed Locations on Saturday
The workout did not take place without a good bit of drama, however. With good reason–and largely to ensure transparency–Kaepernick requested that he be allowed to have his workout filmed by his team, which the NFL denied. Kaepernick then changed the venue of the workout to a local high school outside of the original destination (the workout was originally supposed to take place at the Atlanta Falcons facility, which is likely where Bears reps were spotted by McClure and Rodrigue). Kaepernick’s team said he changed the venue of the workout so that his workout could be filmed and shared with the public.
The NFL has since responded to Kaepernick, saying they are “disappointed” in his decision to move the workout:
After the workout wrapped up, several videos and media clips of Kaepernick’s performance began circulating–and some of the video evidence strongly supports his assertion that he can still play the game. Kaepernick also apparently had a message for scouts and representatives present to give to their respective team’s owners: “When you go back, tell your owners to stop being scared.”
One important thing to note here: Matt Nagy, Ryan Pace, nor anyone involved with the Chicago Bears organization has confirmed or denied whether they sent reps to Georgia.
On Sunday, Ryan Pace was asked whether the Bears attended any of Kaepernick’s workouts, and per 670 The Score’s Joe Ostrowski, Pace said on WBBMNewsRadio that “Like any workout, we really keep those things in house. That’s where we’ll keep that one.”
We may find out eventually exactly what happened, but then again, we may never know. As it stands, multiple members of the media saw Bears personnel at the original workout, but they have not been officially confirmed to be at the Riverdale work out. And Ryan Pace isn’t talking, despite having a good deal to answer for.