The once MVP-caliber quarterback hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since January 2017 when he finished up a 2-14 season with the San Francisco 49ers under Chip Kelly. Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2012, was a second-round pick in 2011 and took the league by storm with his dual-threat style.
But many in Kaepernick’s camp feel he was effectively blackballed by the NFL. The open workout is his chance to get what he deserves: another shot at playing professional football.
Which teams currently have the best chance of bringing Kaepernick aboard? Here’s the latest odds from SportsBettingDime.com (odds assume he signs):
1. Lions: 5/1
2. Colts: 7/1
3. Steelers: 10/1
4. Bears: 10/1
5. Bengals: 14/1
6. Panthers: 15/1
7. Cardinals: 19/1
8. Bills: 20/1
9. Broncos: 20/1
10. Patriots: 25/1
11. 49ers: 25/1
12. FIELD: 5/1
– Odds he signs with a team by end of the 2019-20 season: 6/1
– Odds he signs with a team by first week of 2020-21 season: 4/1
The odds tell a story for a few teams in need of a quarterback with the 2019 season winding down, including a couple of contenders or bubble teams.
Here’s a look at why some teams check the boxes for Kaepernick.
This would honestly be a perfect fit for Kaepernick. With no timeline regarding Matthew Stafford’s return and the Lions slipping out of the playoff picture fast, bringing in a quarterback like Kaepernick would be extremely beneficial to the already-fast-paced Detroit offense.
For the Lions, a decision is especially timely given Jeff Driskel will be starting for a second straight weekend in place of Stafford.
With Kaepernick in shape and potentially game-ready off the bat, he could be leading the Lions offense within a couple weeks and could potentially shift the NFC North playoff picture in a big way.
Another NFC North team in need of an upgrade at the quarterback position. Former first-round pick Mitch Trubisky has not panned out thus far and the Bears are hopeful they can rescue their season still.
Chicago’s offense ranks near the bottom of the league, 29th overall averaging 262 total yards a game and 30th in passing offense at 181 yards per game. Kaepernick could potentially help transform the Chicago offense as a whole with his passing and running abilities as well as the skill of extending plays.
Tied for the third-best odds to sign Kaepernick, it wouldn’t be a total shock if he landed in Chicago with Trubisky’s stock plummeting.
This is perhaps the most intriguing possibility. With Cam Newton potentially done in Carolina after the season, could the Panthers be looking to change up their quarterback without the need for a full offensive overhaul?
Kaepernick is a pretty similar player to Cam Newton and could be considered an upgrade over Kyle Allen who has performed admirably as a starter this season.
New England Patriots
With Tom Brady potentially retiring or moving on following the 2019 season, could New England be looking at a full shift in offensive schemes? New England drafted Jarrett Stidham in April, a pretty mobile quarterback in his own right, and have been looking at ways in which to energize their rushing offense.
Perhaps Kaepernick could be of aid. New England may look to take a page out of the New Orleans playbook and use Kaepernick in more of a Taysom Hill or Teddy Bridgewater role this season before priming him to take over the starting job next year.
It also wouldn’t be the first time New England took a chance on a player looking to revitalize their career.