The Las Vegas Raiders made a big commitment to Derek Carr this offseason when they handed him a three-year contract extension. He’s clearly the starting quarterback going forward and there won’t be a controversy about that in training camp. However, the team’s backup quarterback situation leaves a bit to be desired.
That could change in the near future as the Raiders have been linked to a free agent quarterback with ample starting experience. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Las Vegas is holding a workout for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
While Schefter reported that the workout is happening this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says that the workout is on May 25th.
Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since 2016 after he became a polarizing figure due to his decision to protest the National Anthem before games by kneeling. Prior to that, he had started 58 games for the 49ers and led them to the Super Bowl in 2012 before losing to the Baltimore Ravens. This will mark the first NFL team workout Kaepernick has had since 2017 with the Seattle Seahawks.
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Mark Davis Has Been a Supporter of Kaepernick
This isn’t the first time the Raiders have been linked to Kaepernick. Team owner Mark Davis has long been a supporter of the quarterback. He has even told his coaches and front office that they “have my blessing” if they wanted to sign him, per ESPN. Recently, Davis addressed the situation again and reaffirmed his support for Kaepernick.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis said, via Monte Poole of NBC Sports in an April 27 interview. “He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”
How head coach Josh McDaniels felt about Kaepernick was previously unknown but now that he’s bringing the quarterback in for a workout, it’s clear that he believes that there’s at least a chance he can still play.
Kaepernick Is Willing to Be a Backup
The fact that Kaepernick is such a big name has likely worked against him getting an NFL job. Putting him on many teams would immediately start a quarterback controversy. However, the Raiders are strictly looking for a backup, and Kaepernick recently made it clear that he would be willing to take on that role.
“You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of your end zone,” Kaepernick said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast on April 18. “You have ‘Black Lives Matter’ on your helmet. Everything I’ve said should be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly. It’s a $16 billion business. When I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1. When I did the deal with Nike, their value increased by six billion dollars. Six billion. With a B.
“… So if you’re talking about the business side, it shows [it’s] beneficial. If you’re talking about the playing side, come in, let me compete. You can evaluate me from there. The NFL’s supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. If I’m not good enough, get rid of me. But let me come in and show you.”
Kaepernick would like to be a start again one day but he needs to get his foot back in the NFL. Just getting a workout is a big step in the right direction. If the Raiders sign him and let him spend the year getting used to the NFL again, his chances of landing a starting job next season would greatly increase.