Colin Kaepernick has not taken an NFL field since 2016, but the former 49ers quarterback who became a civil rights activist is looking at a comeback in 2022. Not only that, but a handful of teams have reportedly contacted the 34-year-old, and now Kaepernick is set to throw in front of NFL scouts at the break of Michigan’s spring game.
If the story is any indication, the apparent interest in Kaepernick does not mean that QB is actually a safe bet to return. Since his exit from San Francisco in 2017, when he created national controversy due to protests on the pitch of police brutality, the former Super Bowl starter has not come close to signing with a new team. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell openly urged clubs to sign the QB ahead of the 2020 season, but only after years of conflict between Kaepernick and the league, including a messy NFL-organized training for the QB to audition for interested teams.
And that doesn’t even take into account player Kaepernick, who played the lead role as a double threat early in his career but largely came off the bench in his final seasons. If he were to return, it would almost certainly be like a competition for a No. 2 or No. 3 job.
That said, here’s a look at eight teams that could consider adding Kaepernick this offseason:
Would Aaron Rodgers be okay with that? We would guess that, given that his new $ 150 million contract ensures he can not be threatened under the center. Kaepernick would offer more experience than Jordan Love as a backup, and coach Matt LaFleur, who loves the ground game, could get creative to implement QB in special packages.
Crazy as a reunion sounds, Kaepernick’s mobility does not make him a bad option as potential Trey Lance insurance, especially considering he would probably be about $ 25 million cheaper than the injured, established Jimmy Garoppolo. Can you imagine the surprising resurgence of no. 7 jerseys in the Bay Area? Wilder things have happened out of season, right?
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They need QBs, plain and simple. Their big plan probably lies in this year’s rookie QB class, but after taking a flyer on a Cam Newton reunion in 2021, why then could they not roll the dice with yet another aging double threat?
Their reluctance to rob the young Jalen Hurts of the limelight (especially after the abrupt quarrel with Carson Wentz) will probably keep them out of the mix, but stylistically, the fit is there. Kaepernick is closer to Hurts’ skills than current No. 2 Gardner Minshew, solely because of his legs, and if the Eagles really want to lean into this run-heavy approach, why should they not be interested in a situational reserve? Special teams coordinator Michael Clay was also employed by the 49ers during his time there.
One of the teams that participated in his training in 2019 for NFL scouts, they have Logan Woodside as Ryan Tannehill’s backup. They could easily add competition there, and Kaepernick’s legs would bode well for their run-heavy attacks.
They were reportedly interested in the past, but more importantly, Lamar Jackson just has Tyler Huntley behind him on the in-depth chart, and he comes after an injured 2021. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who leans on many QB races, was Kaepernick’s OC in four different seasons in San Francisco.
They have easily been the most heavily – and tangibly – attached to Kaepernick since his last days of play. On the one hand, it suggests that they are all talk, no action when it comes to potentially adding him. On the other hand, there has never been a better time for them to take a flyer and give him a chance to run their run-first offensive. With Russell Wilson gone, only Drew Lock is a conceivable starter here.
Why the heck not? If a team is open to adding all kinds of weapons, then it’s them. Andy Reid is not pale in offering opportunities for comeback stories, Patrick Mahomes would likely embrace the chance to work with him, and Chad Henne could still stick as the more conventional pocket-passing backup. Receiver Daurice Fountain was recently seen running routes for Kaepernick, and it’s not hard to imagine Eric Bieniemy using QB in some of Kansas City’s trick-play formations.