Former San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, but that doesn’t mean he’s still not working to return. And ESPN’s Adam Schefter says he might have what it takes.
Kaepernick became one of the most prominent players in the league after leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance and then for taking a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness against racial violence and police brutality.
He became a free agent in 2017 as head coach Kyle Shanahan took over in Santa Clara, California, and has not been signed to a team since. He has remained vocal in social justice activities and protests, but other than a single workout with seven NFL teams in 2019, according to the AFP, there hasn’t been any substantial public interest from the league’s franchises.
But on March 10, Kaepernick made waves as the former Nevada Wolfpack QB shared video of a workout and sent a simple message of “still working.”
At 34 years old, it’s hard to think that Kaepernick has much time left in terms of playing at a high level in the NFL. He does have the benefit of not having the wear-and-tear of the past five seasons, although the other side of that coin is that he’s not competitively fresh.
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Adam Schefter Adds Info to Workout Video
Schefter retweeted Kaepernick’s post and revealed more details behind the quarterback’s recent work.
“Colin Kaepernick is still working out,” Schefter wrote on Twitter. “And is said to be, in the words of one source, ‘in the best shape of his life. He wants to play. He’s ready play. He would be a great fit for teams with QB vacancies to fill who want to win a Super Bowl.’”
Schefter’s unnamed source could be a publicist, agent or at least a person in Kaepernick’s camp. But even after five NFL seasons passing without the quarterback playing a snap, his numbers and proven ability are still hard to deny.
As Pro Football Reference shows, 12,271 career passing yards, a 72-30 TD-to-INT ratio and a 59.8% career completion rate are all numbers that warrant a look, at least for a backup. However, the time gap may have grown too large at this point for some or most teams.
49ers Rival Expresses Regret Over Not Signing Kaepernick
The Seattle Seahawks expressed interest in the former San Francisco QB shortly after he was released in 2017 but did not sign him. Three years later in 2020, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll explained why they didn’t sign Kaepernick.
Per NBC Sports, Carroll said the Seahawks didn’t bring him on the roster despite taking a look at him because it didn’t feel right to sign a player they thought was “so obviously a starter” as a backup to then-QB Russell Wilson.
Now, Wilson is gone and the Seahawks need a QB. They join the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers in the free agent market, so this could be the moment Kaepernick gets an opportunity to make his NFL return.