What does the league’s new position mean for Colin Kaepernick?

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The video published by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday regarding the league’s position on racism and peaceful protests represents Goodell’s finest moment in nearly 14 years on the job. But it also raises the stakes on a couple of open issues that now need to be addressed in light of the league’s new position.

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said in the video. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

So what will they, the National Football League, now be doing about the ongoing blackballing of quarterback Colin Kaepernick?

Last weekend, former NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart twisted himself into a knot to defend the league’s treatment of Kaepernick but to blame the teams for not employing Kaepernick in the three-plus years since he became a free agent after sparking peaceful anthem protests aimed at bringing attention to system racism and police brutality against minorities. But here’s the reality, a reality that anyone who has paid any attention to the inner workings of the NFL knows all too well: If the league had really wanted to place Kaepernick on a team, it would have.

Deals get made all the time between the league office and teams, often with copious amounts winking and nodding and/or trading of horses. For whatever reason, the NFL didn’t previously prioritize Kaepernick’s employment sufficiently enough to do a deal like that with one of the league’s teams, hiding behind the notion initially that teams make decisions with an eye toward winning before shifting the narrative to the notion that teams make decisions that suit their best interests (i.e., not scaring away certain customers).

The closest the league came to getting Kaepernick a job happened last November, when the league set up a workout for Kaepernick that ultimately collapsed due to fault on both sides and that otherwise made no sense because any team could bring him in for a workout at any time, and to this day no one has. Will this now be the moment when the league goes the next step, negotiating directly with teams that may want to host a Super Bowl or a draft or who may want something else and offer it as consideration for signing Kaepernick?

That’s how the sausage often gets made. It will be interesting to see whether the league will soon be churning the meat grinder for a main course that would follow its humble-pie appetizer. It also will be interesting to see whether the same players that demanded the league’s most recent gesture will parlay the victory into demanding that the man who tried to spark change years ago, long before the murder of George Floyd and others, should have his career restored.

77 responses to “What does the league’s new position mean for Colin Kaepernick?

  1. It means marginal QBs demanding mid tier starter money will not be signed. I hold nothing against Kaeperick for his protests, but I do think its wrong for people to ignore his value vs his contract demands.

  2. The goal in the NFL is to win. All of the off-field stuff aside, Colin Kaepernick doesn’t help a team do that now or in the future. He’s 33 years old and hasn’t played in three years. At best he might be able to swing the vet minimum to be a backup in a very specific offense. But he already turned down Seattle three years ago because he wasn’t satisfied with the money. Is he willing to take the minimum to ride the pines yet?

  3. They won’t do anything. It’s a business decision. Sign Kap and lose money.

  4. Maybe Colin Kaepernick is not done as a football player if enough FANS give renewed attention to what he was doing in the past, realizing that it was the right thing to do long before George Floyd’s death sparked a firestorm of righteous anger across the nation, and if enough FANS speak loud enough to get the attention of the NFL and their 32 teams. Certainly, he could be an upgrade over some team’s starting QB.

  5. He is reinstated effective immediately…wait he’s retired…wait he’s a free agent…wait he reached a settlement… he’s been on the Seahawks hidden roster for 2 years.

  6. Kaep is too polarizing to not get picked up. He’ll go to a team and the fans will clamor for him. In the past Jets, Cleveland, Cinci would be those teams, now it’s Indy. Can ge play?

  7. ‘It means marginal QBs demanding mid tier starter money will not be signed. I hold nothing against Kaeperick for his protests, but I do think its wrong for people to ignore his value vs his contract demands.”

    What contract demands? He hasn’t made any since 2017 back when he was considered a starter. The last we heard from Kaepernick he was trying to get a fair tryout by the NFL and they tried to get him to sign some special waiver that no other player in his position had to sign.

    Kaepernick was a shaky starter in 2016 and he hasn’t played in over 3 years. His value isn’t worth too much right now. He’s probably done. But the NFL owes him a legit tryout at the very least.

  8. Kaepernick is good enough to sign on as a backup & could prove to be a starter again, in time. However, lHe won’t subject himself to that deflation of status, & no team will gamble on him to be anything near as talented as he once potentially showed. Until he signs on as a backup, for nearly minimum money, it won’t happen.

    I still think backing up Cousins in Minnesota is the best spot. He could easily compete there for the starting job.

  9. It means they have to invent a new reason to not let him into the league to cover up the real reason…

  10. How many posters here would like to have a bunch of anonymous nobodies assess your value and decide–absent an opportunity to prove yourself–that you are no good, not worth it, useless?

    Give the man a chance to show what he’s got.
    Then decide.

    Just like any white dood.

  11. His career has been over. He hasn’t played since 2016. He’s beyond rusty and the tryout from a few months ago did him zero favors.

  12. Why keep bringing Rand Kaapernick up? He hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016 & Wikipedia lists him as a “civil rights activist”.

  13. The last we heard from Kaepernick he was trying to get a fair tryout by the NFL and they tried to get him to sign some special waiver that no other player in his position had to sign.

    —-

    The NFL also never staged a workout for any other unrestricted free agent before.

  14. Paul Rosenberger says:
    June 5, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Maybe Colin Kaepernick is not done as a football player if enough FANS give renewed attention to what he was doing in the past, realizing that it was the right thing to do long before George Floyd’s death sparked a firestorm of righteous anger across the nation, and if enough FANS speak loud enough to get the attention of the NFL and their 32 teams. Certainly, he could be an upgrade over some team’s starting QB.

    ——————————————————————————-

    Is the Kaepernick of 2013 an upgrade for some teams? Yes, absolutely, if they’re willing to tinker with their offense. Is the Kaepernick of 2016 an upgrade for anyone at all? If so, who? Remember he lost his job to Gabbert before any anthem protest controversy. There were articles written about he wasn’t that good prior to any controversy. 4 years later not having played, how could he possibly be an upgrade for anyone?

  15. Kaepernick is better than all 4 of the top 10 selected QBs from 2017.

    Mayfield, Darnold, Allen and Rosen will never sniff a Super Bowl.

    Ironically the black guy who got bypassed for a bunch of white dudes In 2017 will probably go to a few SBs himself.

  16. How many posters here would like to have a bunch of anonymous nobodies assess your value and decide–absent an opportunity to prove yourself–that you are no good, not worth it, useless?

    —-

    Teams have been free to bring him in, take a look, let him prove himself for three years and they all decided he wasn’t worth it. The only way a team signs him now is if the league twists someone’s arm.

  17. The veneration of Kap continues.

    I’ve heard many perspectives that have softened my stance on those who want to knee. Drew Brees still should never have had to apologize. The question must be asked of these athletes-what will it take to stand and join me in recognition of the greatness that is this country.

    Maybe if the person who originally kneeled didn’t do so out of DIRECT anti-American sentiment (his words-it WAS about the flag), and didn’t wear shirts glorifying communist tyrants who are enemies of freedom, justice and liberty, we could have had this conversation from the start.

  18. Lol why would it change anything? He’s had multiple shots to get in a team, he blew off another open tryout and he got an 8 figure settlement from the nfl. Mike I know you’re getting a commission for banging the drum for him but this is idiotic for you to ignorantly not take into account Maybe he’s not good enough and it’s not all about 32 racist owners.

  19. If Kap was good enough, he’d be playing, just like every other protester. Eric Reid is still playing.

    If Kap took backup money like RG3, then he would have stayed in the league. He just demanded more than anybody is willing to pay. That hasn’t changed.

  20. It would be nice if the NFL hired Colin as a racial equality consultant. He may be a marginal QB at this point, but he’s certainly a better American citizen then anyone posting here.

  21. The mea culpa moment would bring him back as some sort of advocate, but not as a player as he has shown he really does not want to fully commit to playing. If he truly wants to make the difference he says he does and the league is truly sorry then he has a role to play. Many people might not like that but get over it if we truly want change.

  22. Nothing, Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL for years, why should a team sign him?? He’ll already be rusty, add to that as a quarterback he’s not that good

  23. He still sucks. In 6 seasons he never completed 300 passes and only had 2-3,000 yard seasons. He hasn’t played in 3 plus seasons. Why wasn’t he feeding the poor during games? He’s the employee who steals your lunch.

  24. It means most of you, even though the world is changing, still see it through a racist lens.
    Long after we’re all dead, history will remember #7

  25. You can claim he’s being blackballed all you want (and you have been for what seems like decades now) yet never once offered any actual proof that is the case. If anything he and his girlfriend have managed to torpedo every opportunity he’s been given to get back in the league. Regardless of how good I am at my job I can’t alienate my customers and insult a potential employer and demand to be paid top tier money and expect to get a job (especially one with so few opportunities) regardless of what race, color or creed he is – never mind how he’s performed on the field during his most recent opportunities.

    Good grief man – give it a rest already.

  26. Kaepernick is better than half of the starting stiffs in the NFL and better than 98% of the current back ups. Kaepernick is a true American patriot.

  27. I find it stunning, seriously, that people still think Kaep is some stud quarterback. He was average to below average for 2 seasons before his career ended. Now 3 years of no football later, you guys think he has gone from average at best to one of the top QBs in the league. GTFOH. Regardless of whether he was or wasn’t blackballed. He is more than 5 years from good football. He is more than 3 years from any football. It’s over. Acting like he would be Patrick Mahomes if not for racism is disingenuous and does a disservice to the equality movement.

  28. Seriously still talking about the guy who’s anger with police violence coincided with the end of his days as the starter? The man who wore a shirt with the face of a ruthless oppressive dictator. The guy who collects millions of dollars from a shoe company notorious for their sweat shop labor. The guy who opted out of his contract and has turned down offers to join teams. Just wondering if this is real or satire?

  29. not a thing. Haven’t played football in 5 years and was ranked one of the worst in the league his last year he played as a starter.
    He’s older, slower, probably we Kirkley probably hasn’t been working out if his injury rehab regiment is any historic precedent. It would be nice if you guys would just stop talking about this divisive loser already

  30. Paul Rosenberger says:
    June 5, 2020 at 8:14 pm
    Maybe Colin Kaepernick is not done as a football player if enough FANS give renewed attention to what he was doing in the past, realizing that it was the right thing to do long before George Floyd’s death sparked a firestorm of righteous anger across the nation, and if enough FANS speak loud enough to get the attention of the NFL and their 32 teams. Certainly, he could be an upgrade over some team’s starting QB.
    _________________________________________
    The games Kap started his last three seasons he went 8-, 2-6, 1-10. The season he went 1-10 and was replaced by the backup who took the same team to a 1-4 finish. Kap’s stats? I watched a game where he three for 200 yards and two touchdowns by halftime. Second half: 99 yards of total offense and no touchdowns= 49er loss.

  31. Punt! Players United Notice Togetherness! I can respect that but I just wish they would not protest while we all as Americans are paying respect to OUR FLAG for OUR great Nation whom others have gave the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. Those helped paved the way for all of us to protest in this free country. Yes there is dirt bags out there and do others harm. They hide behind badges but there is also a lot more good ones than bad ones and now the good ones are paying for the bad ones actions. That is absolutely wrong as well!! I totally agree what happen to Mr. George Floyd is INEXCUSABLE!!! Makes me sick to watch that video!!! Also makes sick to watch a 75 year old man get ran over by young punks in uniform!

  32. Was already starting to lose interest in NFL, means me and I’m sure many more will be tuning out

  33. “What contract demands? He hasn’t made any since 2017 back when he was considered a starter.”

    Denver gave him an offer. He said it wasnt enough.

  34. All I know, if Kap comes back, I am done with the NFL and players that kneel. This is just getting more and more out of hand. I can go without football, not sure how long sports will without fans. This won’t be just a NFL problem, it will be all sports. My thoughts, my opinion, I don’t need your approval to express them.

  35. Paying lip service to what is right is his finest moment? Action speaks louder than words. Lift the blacklisting of Kap. That would be a much better moment.

  36. As the old saying goes; ‘million dollar arm, 10 cent head’ The only difference is with Kaepernick it should be; ’20 million dollar ego, 10 cent head’. It took a bit of time but defensive coordinators figured out how to beat his schtick and at that point his career was OVER.

  37. Kap skipped the NFL workout last year because it was a farce. The NFL does not need to schedule a workout for him. All the NFL has to do is just tell all teams that any team can sign Kap without any retaliation from the league office.

  38. It means someone has to sign him for 50 million a season. The league just sold its soul to the devil.

  39. Nothing. Regardless of baggage, No one wants a 32 year old QB who hasn’t played for 4 years and wasn’t good the last time he played.

  40. Is everyone forgetting the Ravens wanted sign him until his GF Nessa made her racist tweet at Ravens owner and Ray Lewis. Look it up.

  41. The NFL is allowing itself to become a platform for airing grievances or preferences or whatever. it’s a sports business. Fans are paying to enjoy the entertainment, not focusing on news of the day. Kaepernick is a professional activist. Not a professional football player any longer.

  42. Guy is a attention getter. He could really care less about playing football. He’s making to much money from nike.

  43. “We were going to close the deal to sign him,” Lewis told Showtime’s Inside the NFL on Tuesday night. “[Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti said: ‘I want to hear Colin Kaepernick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’ And it never happened because that picture comes up the next day.”

    The tweet, from 2 August, compared Lewis and Biscotti to Samuel L Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters in Django Unchained. In the film, Jackson plays a loyal slave to DiCaprio’s racist plantation owner. Diab’s tweet was addressed to Lewis and has not been deleted. It was retweeted more than 4,000 times.

    Facts get in the way of emotion

  44. Kaepernick was on the downside of his career before he got blackballed. I doubt that his football skills have improved 4 years later. He actually might embarrass himself out there on the field.

  45. Sadly, this means precisely nothing to Kap. That ship has sailed. The NFL proved they blackballed him by putting out the statement they should have listened earlier. All the talk about him not being good and on the downside of his career was rubbish. Less talented QB’s were and are continuing to be signed. That is also why he was given a settlement. NFL did not want their dirty washing aired.

  46. So what will they, the National Football League, now be doing about the ongoing blackballing of quarterback Colin Kaepernick?
    ____________________________________

    BLACKBALLING? Now that’s HILARIOUS, he was 2-6(2015) and 1-10(2016), a QB with that record as a starter doesn’t need to be blackballed!

    GIVE IT A REST Mike, you’re not even in the ballpark with some of your thoughts!

  47. Didn’t the NFL pay him a crapload of money just to go away? He needs to go to the XFL first just to get acclimated to playing football again. Unless they think he sucks too…

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