The NFL is trying to help Colin Kaepernick get back in the league. Is it merely a PR stunt? Or is it a legitimate showcase?
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Kaepernick’s league-sanctioned workout on Saturday in Atlanta. All 32 NFL teams have been invited, specifically head coaches and general managers of interested parties.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, 22 teams will be sending a representative. He did not name the teams planning to attend. Kapernick confirmed the league contacted him about a private workout on Tuesday and said he’s been “in shape and ready for this for 3 years.”
But there has been plenty of backlash and skepticism about the timing of the workout. Saturdays are busy days for NFL teams and the thought of executives flying down to Atlanta on short notice has raised red flags. Consider Malcolm Jenkins on the side of those doubting the NFL’s motives. Big time.
“I have my doubts about the league,” Jenkins told The Inquirer’s Marcus Hayes. “Now the league can say, ‘Look, we gave you a chance.’ I’d be naive to not be leery.”
The Eagles safety runs The Players Coalition and has long been at the forefront of player activism. Jenkins questioned the timing of the workout.
“There’s been plenty of quarterbacks hurt year already,” Jenkins said, via Hayes. “Why now?”
The Eagles haven’t commented on whether they will attend Kaepernick’s workout. They don’t have a need for a backup quarterback after signing Josh McCown, so it would seem unlikely they will be there.
However, Doug Pederson did address the possibility of the team signing Kaepernick back in August. Former Eagles defensive end Chris Long has also criticized the motives behind the Kaepernick workout. He wants the league to “show me that this is something real.”
Kaepernick Won’t Know Teams Attending Workout Ahead of Time
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Colin Kaepernick won’t know the teams attending his private workout until Saturday morning. The former 49ers quarterback will be doing on-field drills and interviews, similar to what rookies endure during a normal pro day. There will also be video available for those clubs who choose not to attend.
On the surface, the workout seems like a PR move created to appease Kaepernick and his vast supporters. Remember, he has been out of the league since 2016 and no team has signed him despite major injuries to several starting quarterbacks throughout the year. The fact that the NFL picked Saturday for the workout — one day before most teams play their games — certainly smells funny.
Panthers safety Eric Reid expressed severe doubts about the entire process. He feels it it is a full-on “PR stunt.” Reid was Kaepernick’s teammate in San Francisco and the two have remained close friends.
“At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it. At this point, it feels like a PR stunt,” Reid told the News & Record in North Carolina. “Being that it’s on a Saturday, what decision makers are going to be able to attend that workout? The other strange thing is, I saw it was reported that teams were interested in Colin, but they reached out to the league about it? That’s strange.”