Colin Kaepernick will seemingly get his chance to earn a long overdue return to the NFL as he’ll take part in a special workout in front of several interested teams.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who led his team to the Super Bowl, has not played in the league since 2017 when he became the first player to start kneeling during the pre-game national anthem.
Kaepernick kneeled to protest against social injustice in the country, but he was then jettisoned by the 49ers and seemingly ostracised from the league, with him being unable to find another team since.
The 32-year-old settled on a collusion grievance against NFL owners in February under a confidentiality agreement, but could now return to the gridiron after the NFL decided on the unprecedented step of staging a private workout for him.
"We have... arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career," the league said.
Critics have already pointed to the fact the workout has been so hastily arranged by the league, giving both the player and interested teams limited time to prepare.
Kaepernick will take part in on-field workouts and conduct private interviews with those teams attending in Atlanta, with the Miami Dolphins confirmed and the likes of the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals all believed to be going.
"Having that much time off you have to get back into the swing of things," Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said. "But he was a very good player so we'll see what it looks like and do our due diligence and take it from there."
Kaepernick said on Twitter that he was in shape and ready to go after being informed that the league wanted to stage the workout.
However, one player among a few who doesn’t think the offer is genuine is former 49ers team-mate Eric Reid, who feels it could all be a big publicity stunt.
"At this point it feels like a PR stunt being that it is on a Saturday, when most teams are preparing for Sunday games,” Reid said.
"What decision makers are going to be able to attend that workout? We'll see if it's a real process. We'll see if it's a real event."
WEEK 11 NFL fixtures
Sunday, November 17, 2019
- Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
- Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
- Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
- Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
- Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
- New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- New York Jets at Washington Redskins
- Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
- Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders
- New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
- Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Monday, November 18, 2019
- Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams
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