After missing five NFL seasons, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is getting his first private NFL visit since 2017.
Kaepernick started 58 games for the 49ers from 2012 through 2016, helping San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance in 2012. Kaepernick also started a major protest movement in 2016 by sitting and kneeling during the national anthem to speak out against racism and police brutality.
The following season, he was released by San Francisco. The Seattle Seahawks met with Kaepernick in May of 2017, but it was not an official visit or workout. Now, five years later, the Las Vegas Raiders are bringing in the quarterback for a workout per ESPN insider Adam Schefter.
“Colin Kaepernick, who last played football in 2016, the same year he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, is scheduled to work out this week for the Las Vegas Raiders, league sources told ESPN,” Schefter Tweeted on May 25.
As Heavy has previously covered, Kaepernick and Raiders owner Mark Davis met earlier this Spring, so a work out isn’t too surprising. However, it is still a major deal considering Kaepernick has technically never had an official visit with NFL teams since his 49ers release.
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Davis Backs Up Former 49ers Star
During a TV interview that aired in April, Davis came out and said that he’d welcome Kaepernick as a potential member of the Raiders.
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis said, according to NBC Sports’ Monte Poole. “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.”
It’s worth noting that Davis also admitted that he didn’t agree or understand Kaepernick’s protests when he first began kneeling. However, the Raiders owner stated that the former 49ers star has a “message for society” that is worth listening to.
Kaepernick’s protests and the ensuing movement of athletes kneeling for the national anthem are still a source of heavy debate, and the NFL’s settlement in 2019 with the quarterback addressing collusion to keep him out of the league didn’t resolve the discussion.
Raiders QB Room Amid Kaepernick Workout
Earlier in the spring, 49ers fans saw another familiar face join the Raiders with Nick Mullens signing a contract to head to Las Vegas. Derek Carr is still the expected starter for the Raiders, though, and that likely wouldn’t change even with Kaepernick’s presence.
Carr set a career-best for passing yards, throwing for 4807 yards, while adding 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions according to PFR. The Raiders went 10-7 with Carr at the helm and made the playoffs, but were beaten in their first postseason game by the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Besides Mullens, the Raiders also have Jarrett Stidham and Chase Garbers on the roster backing up Carr. Mullens is the favorite among the trio to win the backup job and Stidham is the most likely to get third-string and remain on the practice squad.
Kaepernick potentially joining the ranks would shake that up dramatically, but it will depend on how he looks in his upcoming workouts.