The Colin Kaepernick workout was news to plenty of people. Including Colin Kaepernick.
PFT has confirmed that Kaepernick didn’t even know about the workout until it was scheduled. Kaepernick’s representatives initially expressed concern that it was or could be a P.R. stunt. Confusion also was expressed regarding the league’s reason(s) for setting up the workout, especially since the league previously has taken the position that it does not get involved in the potential employment of specific players.
The league wouldn’t disclose to Kaepernick the motivation for getting involved in the process, and the league wouldn’t budge on its position that the workout will happen this Saturday — rejecting a request to delay the workout to a Tuesday or to a later Saturday, so that interested teams would have more of a chance to make appropriate plans.
From Kaepernick’s perspective, it’s far more preferable for a workout to happen with coaches and General Managers present, so that they can put him through the paces and directly observe his abilities. The league’s willingness to record the workout and send it to interested teams means nothing; Kaepernick could do that himself.
Under the present circumstances, then, it feels like this workout is far less about getting Kaepernick placed on a team and far more about creating the impression that the NFL is trying to help him get a job, without really helping him get a job.
And while it’s entirely possible that the league is pulling a P.R. stunt, the more accurate assessment may be that the league is concerned that Kaepernick eventually will file a second grievance alleging collusion and/or retaliation arising from his prior collusion grievance, which reportedly was settled for payment in the range of $1 million and $10 million.
In order to ensure that it’s a legitimate workout, Kaepernick wants to see the list of the coaches and General Managers who will attend the workout. Although Kaepernick currently intends to proceed with the workout regardless of the information the league does or doesn’t provide, the ball currently is in the NFL’s court to persuade him (and anyone else who is paying close attention to these developments) that it’s a real opportunity and not part of a broader P.R. and/or legal strategy.