Revisiting the Colin Kaepernick false narratives

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Given our support for the return of Colin Kaepernick to the NFL, a sports league that has wrongfully denied him employment for more than three years, plenty of negative and/or hostile emails have arrived in recent days. Most contain key factual errors regarding Kaepernick’s experiences since becoming a free agent in March 2017.

For starters, it’s important to remember a few things. First, the 49ers would have cut Colin Kaepernick if he hadn’t opted out of his remaining contract with the 49ers. G.M. John Lynch said so, emphatically, on PFT Live. Second, Kaepernick has received no offers of employment since becoming a free agent in March 2017. Third, he has had only one visit since becoming a free agent in March 2017, with the Seahawks later that year. Fourth, no team has invited him for a workout.

Those are facts. They are verifiable. They are undisputable. As NFLPA executive director De Smith likes to you, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

Some have argued that Kaepernick rejected an opportunity to sign with the Broncos since becoming a free agent in March 2017. That is false. The Broncos considered trading for Kaepernick in 2016 (after the retirement of Peyton Manning and defection of Brock Osweiler to Houston), before Kaepernick ever protested during the anthem, but he declined to reduce his guaranteed salary to facilitate a trade. Then, once he became a free agent in 2017, the Broncos showed no interest, arguing basically that he had his chance to sign with the team in 2016. (Meanwhile, Osweiler was offered a contract in 2017, a year after spurning the Broncos for the Texans.)

Other false narratives have been used by teams and/or the league office, with the media serving as a willing conduit, to win the P.R. battle regarding the shunning of Colin Kaepernick. Last October, agent Jeff Nalley issued a fact sheet addressing many of the false narratives. We addressed several of them in May 2017, from Kaepernick demanding $9 million to $10 million per year to demanding a chance to compete for the starting job to his vegan diet (while Tom Brady does the same thing) to the inaccurate notion that Kaepernick would prefer to do social justice work over playing football to the broad-brush proclamation that Kaepernick was unsigned because, as Albert Breer of claimed in 2017, “[h]e’s not considered a starting-caliber player by any NFL evaluator anymore” — a simultaneous deep dive into the mind of every single talent evaluator employed by every NFL team.

More recently, the Associated Press floated the notion that Kaepernick may have a bigger platform by not playing than if he returned to the league, a laughable notion that feels like a favor fed by a league that hopes the heat will leave the kitchen before the stove explodes.

So to those of you who resent or otherwise disagree with our ongoing effort to get someone/anyone to do the right thing, make sure you take a page from the Mike Gundy pre-mullet playbook and get your facts straight.

55 responses to “Revisiting the Colin Kaepernick false narratives

  1. Thank you, but this won’t matter to those that believe in Alternative Facts. They only see what they want to believe.

  2. The conversation should start with whether or not Kaep is willing to play for a low money deal in order to get back into the league and show that he can still play and that he will not be a major distraction to a team.

  3. Fact, this is all about money. He thinks he should be paid X and teams feel he should be paid Y. Until he agrees to play for a show me contract he will never play again.

  4. One missed fact…. Kap was benched for Blaine Gabbert when we last saw him in the NFL. And that was BEFORE the kneeling.

  5. Poor selfish Kaep kneeled to bring aweness to himself. That’s disrespectful to the short ceremony hta was taking place.
    You don’t kneel at a funeral ceremony or a wedding ceremony because you don’t bring attention to yourself. he has the right to voice his opinion……just do it on your own time and not during a ceremony.

  6. Here’s another “fact”: He will be a huge distraction to whatever team is muscled into signing him. And the league WILL muscle one of the teams into signing him — wouldn’t be surprising if they even threatened to take away draft picks.

  7. I remember when Kap put up 4 yards in 3 quarters against the Bears and was benched for Gabbert.

  8. I am a Washington Redskin fan. We currently have 4 QBs on the team. The starting QB was a 1st round pick a year ago. The back-up we traded for from Carolina Panthers which cost a draft pick. We also have a former starting QB on the IR and we signed a undrafted QB basically for the Practice squad. That has the team currently carrying 4 QBs. The Redskins do not need to sign another QB nor waste the salary cap funds. Other teams already have QBs either were on the team during the 2019 season, drafted, traded for or signed as a free agent this year. Their currently many former starting QBs free agents that have not been signed. Which team is required to sign Colin for roughly $20 million too be a back up QB? Even if he still can play, who is going to trust their starting QB position to a QB whom hasn’t started in 3 years? I honestly don’t see how he will be signed by any team unless it is a publicity role and definitely not as a starter. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be given the opportunity to play, but I don’t see any way he would be starting in the league.

  9. Fact : Kaepernick isnt good enough to be an NFL starting quarterback
    Fact : No team is going to pay 20 million dollars for a backup quarterback unless youre the Dallas Cowboys.
    Fact : The NFL arranged a workout day for Kaepernick and only Kaepernick. He opted not to attend.
    Fact : The AAF offered Kaepernick a job and he declined to play.

    Kaepernick is no martyr for his cause. Hes merely a 3rd rate football player with an exaggerated sense of self worth.

    These are “facts” and nothing can change them.

  10. Anyone even bother to ask if he is willing to be a backup in the NFL? Seem to me he has a bigger platform for protests if he is not in the NFL. He signs to be a backup he will get a short term op in press, but then he gets relegated to the bench.

  11. This is all about money. When he protested the ratings dropped which ultimately cost each owner tens of millions of dollars. Would you hire an average employee that has cost you considerable money? That’s what I thought.

  12. cueghost says:
    June 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm
    One missed fact…. Kap was benched for Blaine Gabbert when we last saw him in the NFL. And that was BEFORE the kneeling.

    Don’t forget, he sat on the bench before he kneeled, He was just being petulant about losing his starting job.

  13. cueghost says:
    June 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm
    One missed fact…. Kap was benched for Blaine Gabbert when we last saw him in the NFL. And that was BEFORE the kneeling.
    Since we’re sharing facts, here are a few more. Kaepernick didn’t play in the first 5 games of the 2016 season (his last with SF) due to injury and possible kneeling backlash but started every game of the season from week 6 on. He was replaced by Gabbert in the 4th quarter of a bad weather game at Soldier Field in week 13 (snow) but was back as the starter the next week and played every QB snap the rest of the season. Seems to be more accurate to say Gabbert was benched for Kap.

  14. Why isn’t Gabbert still in the league? He once beat out the “Kap the Great”.

    The NFL must be against Gabbert.

  15. Kap was/is a better QB than the vast majority of backups in the NFL then and even some of the starters.

    The man was flat out black balled from the league for taking a stand against racial prejudice and police brutality.


  16. Post his last three years STATS! All of them and mention Blaine Gabbert best him out after passing for 4 yards in a quarter….

  17. Wow for an article on facts you still have a lot of dumb people up here who refuse to believe them. You can’t fix stupid.

  18. Michael says:
    June 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm
    I don’t understand. Kaepernick CHOSE to void his own contract. He quit on the NFL.
    …speaking of false narratives. He did not quit the NFL. He chose to void his contract after SF forced him to restructure it during the season to remove injury guarantees for the 2017 season before letting him see the field. The restructure was completed after week 5 and he started every game of the season from week 6 on. It was clear that SF planned to move on from him after the season regardless.

  19. Kaep hasn’t played since the 2016 season. Who knows if he’s in shape. He’s 32 now, and I’m guessing isn’t the running threat he once was.

    Maybe some team gives him a shot to be a backup for league minimum or thereabouts, but I doubt this is a job he’ll take.

  20. It is evident from many of the comments on this thread that there are many, many people who clearly don’t know or, more likely, don’t care what a fact is.

  21. daysend564 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 1:05 pm
    Why isn’t Gabbert still in the league? He once beat out the “Kap the Great”.

    The NFL must be against Gabbert.

    Believe it or not, Blaine Gabbert is Brady’s back up in Tampa.

  22. Semantics. No, he didn’t receive an official offer. Because before that could happen the teams would learn from him or his agent that he wouldn’t take less than X amount of dollars, and needed to be guaranteed a starting roll. So yes, after hearing Kaps “demands”, no team gave him any offers. If Tom Brady demanded $100M a year, he wouldn’t get any offers either. Because relative to the salary cap, it’s not worth it, even for the goat.

    Stop it. His feelings of self entitlement are WAY off base, and no team owes him anything.

  23. posers2015 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm
    FACT: Cam Newton is far better than Kaepernick and unemployed as well. Get in line…


    Good point about getting in line. The only other fact that matters is Kaep is NOT good enough to be worth the headache. Imagine the media circus…

  24. daysend564 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 1:05 pm
    Why isn’t Gabbert still in the league? He once beat out the “Kap the Great”.

    The NFL must be against Gabbert.


    Gabbert has had several other opportunities since then and has flat out sucked in all of them. Try another angle. You’re wrong.

  25. Kapernick was not denied anything. He opted out of his contract. In most states you quit your job, you’re not entitled to unemployment benefits.

  26. The only “fact” that matters is that up until now the owners have thought he’d be more of a distraction than his talent justified. That’s it.

  27. There’s only one way to answer this question. I hope someone signs him with an incentive-heavy contract and gives him a chance to make the squad. If they sign him and he fails, we have an answer. If he does well enough to stick around, we have another answer.

  28. Why not mention Kaepernick’s visit to the Raven’s? They were very much looking at QB’s with his skillset as evidenced by the signing of RGIII. I understand the visit went well until Colin’s girlfriend posted a picture of the Ravens owner and Ray Lewis comparing them as Master and slave.

  29. Yes, he took a stand by kneeling, but he’s not infallible.
    Let’s remember that he also changed his mind after he couldn’t get on a roster.
    He said that he would stop kneeling if a new team wanted to sign him, so he’s not totally self sacrificing like some think he is.

    That said, I hope he signs with some team.
    Let’s see if he still has what it takes to play.

  30. Aside from the fact the league owes Kaepernick nothing in my opinion, the obtuse comparison between Kaepernick and Tom Brady is hilarious.

  31. You basically said the Bronco’s wanted him but he wanted too much money. So, he chose not to play (for that $). This disproves the narrative that the league kept him locked out. Thanks.

    Why not mention the Seattle rumors? Or that he opted out of his contract and had a qbr below 50 his last two seasons? If we’re talking facts, let’s get the whole story.

  32. After Harbaugh left, the Niners went deep into the toilet. Colin played behind an historically bad OL and was throwing to terrible receivers. I’m pretty confident if he was coached up and played on a decent team, he would give any starting QB a run for their money…

  33. Most NFL QB’s retire around 35-36; he is already 32; why pay a lot and invest in an older guy, when you can have a younger QB to develop? If he was an exceptional talent at 32, maybe give him a chance, but he is not.

  34. A few years ago, Colin Kaepernick was Patrick Mahomes. Both players sat out their rookie seasons. Mahomes took his team to the AFC Championship his first season as a player. Kaepernick took his team to the super bowl his first season as a player. Mahomes won the super bowl his second season. Kaepernick took his team back to the NFC Championship his second season. So both QB’s played in 2 conference championships, and one super bowl their first two years as players. Now imagine that Patrick Mahomes takes part in some type of protest and he gets blackballed by the league. Several years later many fans swear that Mahomes was actually a terrible QB. I’m not advocating Kaepernick come back and play after being blackballed for four years, but to say he wasn’t a great QB is just insanity. If you have to lie that bad, you’ve got much bigger issues to deal with. Good luck.

  35. Fact: He wore a Castro shirt like he was this great leader. The fact is he was a brutal dictator.

    Fact: He would have had a job with the Ravens had his girlfriend not compared the Ravens’ owner a slave owner.

    It’s ironic how those never get mentioned when there is a conversation about Kaep.

  36. I don’t have any statistics to back this up but I’d be willing to bet that the people buying the tickets are not the ones hoping and praying for Kaepernick’s return.

  37. Since we are throwing facts (and conclusions/opinions) around, here are a few facts (and a conclusion) as well:

    FACT: Kaepernick was offered a deal by Denver – reports put that offer in the $7 million/year range for the remaining 2 years of his contract, which would have been a reduction from the $12 million he made to stay with San Francisco for 2016, and the total of $14.3 million he received for 2016 and 2017 even though he was cut prior to 2017.

    FACT: The trade offer was made in 2016, several months BEFORE Kaepernick began his protests, thus (conclusion) the salary offer would have been a fair assessment of what Denver valued him at without any “controversy” attached to him.

    FACT: $7 million would have placed that contract at number 22 in terms of salary cap hit for the season among all NFL quarterbacks for the 2016 season – tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets and Sam Bradford of the Vikings.

    FACT: the number 33 quarterback salary cap hit for 2016 (number 33 used for purposes of illustrating what the best backup was apparently worth then) was $4.75 million for Chad Henne with the Jaguars, who had their #1 QB – Blake Bortles – at $5.633 million for that season.

    CONCLUSION: Without any “baggage” related to the protests, Denver only valued Kaepernick as worth $7 million in 2016, and only looked at him at best as a lower tier starter, to a high end backup.

    FACT: Kaepernick is now 4 years older, and has not played a down since 2016.

    So, in conclusion, what is a 32 year old QB who at age 28 was viewed as a marginal starter by a GM who has built a super bowl winning team and has not played a down in 4 years worth in 2020?

    Oh, and one more FACT – he did wear socks that portrayed police as pigs. After being called out on it (not before), he claimed that this was only referring to the bad cops – by deduction, that means that he was recognizing there are good cops too.

  38. Wow, just wow. lets talk facts. Fact every US citizen, under protection of the Constitution, is free to protest and speak out about any injustice they seem fit. These protect the citizen against repercussion from Government persecution. Fact. These protection do not protect against public opinion or social repercussion. Freedom of speech does not protect against freedom of judgement and criticism.

    Playing in the NFL is a privilege not a right. Fact. Teams and players work out complicated contract language for severing ties at almost any time. If a player is deemed to hurt the leagues image or finances, the teams have the right to not sign that player. No one is guaranteed a contract or a roster spot, nor are they promised or guaranteed a tryout. Fact

    The NFL did something that i cant ever remember them doing for a player before. they held a tryout for a single player. they brought media to film and document, the brought a high caliber offensive coach to lead the try out, Hue Jackson (a black man) and set up a try out in the state of the art Mercedes Arena. Does anyone want to comment on the actions of the player that day? Because he felt that everything was not to his liking, he moved the tryout, last minute to a high school stadium 1 hour away. NFL teams have 52 men on a roster. This is not the actions or leadership of one that would be in the QB Room.

    Fact, Kaepernick is owed nothing by the NFL.

  39. tmolney says:
    June 15, 2020 at 12:08 pm
    Poor selfish Kaep kneeled to bring aweness to himself. That’s disrespectful to the short ceremony hta was taking place.
    You don’t kneel at a funeral ceremony or a wedding ceremony because you don’t bring attention to yourself. he has the right to voice his opinion……just do it on your own time and not during a ceremony.

    Actually he kneeled in protest to the social injustices that black folks still endure today? You all made it about him because you dont really care about US!!!!

  40. spitsportstalk says:
    June 16, 2020 at 4:13 pm
    Actually he kneeled in protest to the social injustices that black folks still endure today? You all made it about him because you dont really care about US!!!!

    Colin Kaepernick is the one who made it about himself by staging his demonstration during the National Anthem. Had he truly wanted the protest to be about something other than himself, then the first time somebody mentioned to him that most people find his kneeling during the National Anthem to be disrespectful, he would have apologized for the misunderstanding, stood during the National Anthem, and knelt at a different time, perhaps immediately following the National Anthem.

  41. so enough with the empty talk and hire him mike. replace simms – please. it’s a twofer. he has to be an improvement so you do well while doing “the right thing”

  42. It is not logical for a team to sign a high priced back up who will be a major distraction for the team. The NFL teams exist to win games, not to lose games for the sake of social justice. This is unfortunate for Kaep, but you also can’t blame teams for not signing him. They are afraid of the media circus and the distraction. I definitely would be afraid of it if I were an owner, GM or coach.

  43. Strickly speaking about his talent ONLY.. many players – especially QBs – can be bad in one system and very good in another (Kurt Warner looked completely washed up w the Giants, then went to AZ and had one of his greatest years ever, almost won another super bowl) so I personally would like to see what he could do in the right system.

    That said however, there’s little doubt he would HAVE to sign as a backup with low risk backup money, to get his chance.

  44. This simple comment has been blocked three times now, so I’ll try it in smaller words for the moderator:

    Brock Osweiler – 2016 – Denver offers 3 years, $39 million. Houston offers 4 year, $72 million with $37 million guaranteed. Osweiler “defects” to Houston, and I believe the publisher would fully support that move, given the regular reminder that guaranteed money is all that matters in a contract.

    2017 – after Houston trades Osweiler, his big contract, and a draft pick to Cleveland, who subsequently cuts him, as they only were trading for the draft pick, Osweiler is offered a $775,000, veteran minimum contract by Denver. The “defector” takes said minimum contract. Again in 2018, Osweiler defects – for another minimum salary contract with the Dolphins These are all facts. Now for speculation – would Kaepernick even have accepted a minimum salary offer? Considering he was reportedly asking the AAF for $20 million, and his agent has never refuted that report, it’s certainly possible that he would not have played for the minimum, so enough with the idea that the Broncos embraced a defector – they got a minimum salary player that they were already very familiar with from his first stint with the Broncos.

  45. Blame Trump for the virus. Blame him for a few bad cops making horrible decisions, why not blame him for Kap not playing in the NFL. This whole issue with Kap is a joke. I was rooting for Kap getting a chance. But after the Baltimore incident, and the tryout being moved an hour south from the airport where all these scouts flew into was icing on the cake. I support his right to voice his opinion, but condemn his foolish behavior, and sincerity, trying to land a job in the NFL. For everyone of else, when have you ever set up a job interview and at the last minute called your potential future employer that you want to move where you interview? Next.

  46. Another FACT:

    Jameis Winston, who is a former first overall draft pick is 26 years old and is one of only EIGHT QB’s to throw for over 5,000 yards in an NFL season, signed a base contract with the Saints as a BACKUP QB for $1.1 million. (5,000 yard passer, Brees five times, once each, Brady, P. Manning, Marino, Stafford, Mahomes, Roethlisberger and Winston.)

    Another FACT:

    Best season passing yardage by the now 32 year old Kaepernick….. 3369 yards.

    Maybe, just maybe if Kaepernick was willing to take a similar contract as Winston, he might have an NFL job? That is not a FACT, that is just an opinion.

  47. He might have something left but considering his age he almost certainly doesn’t have enough to put up with all of the negative attention that goes with him everywhere. What coach wants to answer a question about the back-up QB’s politics in Week 6 when he is trying to prepare his team for the next game?

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