Sources: Raiders to host Kaepernick for workout
4: 00 PM ET
Adam SchefterESPN Senior Writer
- ESPN NFL Insider
- Joined ESPN in 2009
- Former president of the Pro Football Writers of America and the author of four books
Colin Kaepernick, who last played professional football in 2016 — the year he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice — is scheduled to work out Wednesday for the Las Vegas Raiders, league sources told ESPN.
It will mark Kaepernick’s first workout with an NFL team since being exiled, and it will be the first time the former star quarterback visits with a team since he flew to Seattle to meet with the Seahawks in May 2017 before they passed on the opportunity to sign him.
Kaepernick played at the University of Nevada, Reno, the only school to offer him a scholarship. The only NFL team that has offered the opportunity to the civil rights activist is the Nevada pro team.
Raiders owner Mark Davis is following in the spirit of his late father, Al Davis, who provided many opportunities, such as hiring the NFL’s first Black head coach (Art Shell) and its first woman chief executive (Amy Trask) in the modern era. He was also the first to draft a Black quarterback and the second to hire a Hispanic coach, Tom Flores.
The NFL stated that it encouraged teams to look at Kaepernick. Kaepernick has not signed a contract with any of the teams, and he has not had a workout since Wednesday.
Mark Davis told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez in June 2020 that he would give his “blessing” if the Raiders’ front office or coaches wanted to add Kaepernick.
Derek Carr is the starting quarterback for the Raiders, who also traded for backup Jarrett Stidham earlier this month in a deal with the New England Patriots. Las Vegas also has quarterback Nick Mullens, who signed with the Raiders this offseason.
Kaepernick, 34, recently threw to undrafted receivers for NFL scouts at halftime of Michigan’s spring game, at the invitation of Jim Harbaugh, his former coach with the San Francisco 49ers.
Another potential link to Kaepernick is Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi, who was a 49ers assistant from 2013 to 2016.
In an interview with the “I Am Athlete” podcast in April, Kaepernick noted that both of his former Niners coaches, Harbaugh and Chip Kelly, said he “made the locker room better,” contrasting a narrative that he would be a distraction for any team that signs him.
“That 2016 season, my last year, my teammates voted me most courageous and inspirational player,” he said. “So, when you talk about the people in the building, it has never come out that my distractions have been an issue. It has never been revealed that I have been a problem for the people I have played with. “
Kaepernick also said in the interview that today’s NFL should be more “in alignment” with his social views, given the league’s stance on other matters pertaining to race relations in the U.S.
“You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of your end zone. Your helmet has ‘Black Lives Matter’. He said that everything I’ve said should be in line with what you’re publicly saying.” “It’s a $16 billion business. My jersey was No. 1 when I took my first knee. 1. The value of Nike increased by $6 billion when I signed the deal. Six billion. With a B .
“… If you’re referring to the business side, it will show [it’s] beneficial. If you’re referring to the playing side, please come in and let me compete. You can assess me from there. The NFL is supposed to be a meritocracy. Come in, let me compete. You can get rid of me if I’m not up to the task. Let me show you. “
Kaepernick said he ultimately wants to win a championship after coming close with the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, where San Francisco fell one play short in a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.