The NFL first (and possibly only) attempt to arrange a workout for a veteran player hasn’t gone well. It’s still not entirely clear that it’s actually going to happen.
From the outset, the supposed effort to help give Kaepernick a fair chance to get back into the NFL hasn’t seemed fair. And a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the league continues to refuse to provide Kaepernick’s representatives the names of people who supposedly will be attending. The only certainty Kaepernick has received came from General Managers who informed Kaepernick’s camp that they will not be attending.
Consider the broader circumstances. Kaepernick, via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, had two hours to accept the offer to attend the workout. Robinson also reports that the league wouldn’t explain to Kaepernick why the offer was suddenly being made, and it also wouldn’t explain the decision to schedule it on a Saturday.
Robinson likewise reports that a representative of the NFL called a “select group of reporters” last week (I wasn’t selected, #shockedface) and informed them that “they should be available on the following Tuesday for a worthwhile news development.” On Tuesday, the NFL contacted Kaepernick’s representatives, informing them for the first time of the workout.
As we’ve previously mentioned, this isn’t the way to get Kaepernick a job or a legitimate audition for one. If the league office truly wanted to assist Kaepernick, someone (the Commissioner) would call teams and twist arms, like the league reportedly did after the Rams cut Michael Sam. (The Cowboys gave him a landing spot.) Setting up a workout, positioning it as a P.R. event, springing it on Kaepernick with no notice, giving him two hours to accept, declining to alter the date, and refusing to provide information about the attendees makes this feel like an unwanted chore for the league, and perhaps an effort to extend an offer that Kaepernick will refuse.
Indeed, the league possibly hoped he would refuse the offer on Tuesday. The league possibly now hopes that Kaepernick will become sufficiently frustrated with the process and change his mind about attending. Then, the P.R. message will be, “We gave him what he wanted, and he didn’t take it.”
The truth is that this isn’t what he wants. He wants a fair shake, through the normal procedures applicable to all players. Any team paying to send one or more representatives to Atlanta on Saturday could pay to bring Kaepernick to town for a workout at any time.
Last Tuesday alone, for example, 39 players had tryouts and three others had visits. Since March 2017, not a single team has offered a workout to Kaepernick.
If Kaepernick, come Saturday, looks like the guy he was early in his career, signing him based on the workout would make the prior shunning of him even more glaring. A workout that doesn’t lead to Kaepernick getting a job bolsters the notion that he’s simply not good enough — which is one of the narratives that has been anonymously pushed to select reporters to justify Kaepernick’s ongoing unemployment.
In this age of legalized wagering, that’s the one prop bet on which I’d consider risking money: Kaepernick not being signed to a contract, ever, not matter what he does on Saturday.