Is Colin Kaepernick Attempting an NFL Comeback Again?

Kaepernick threw to a number of NFL players in a new viral video

Colin Kaepernick attends an NBA game.
Colin Kaepernick hasn't played in an NFL game since 2016
Cole Burston/Getty

The last time that Colin Kaepernick threw a football in the National Football League, Donald Trump had yet to be sworn in as president, the #MeToo movement hadn’t started and no one had heard of something called COVID-19. Kaepernick, who settled a collusion grievance with the NFL in 2019 for millions of dollars and has largely been spending his life after football crusading for social justice, apparently still believes he has what it takes to be a professional quarterback. He recently released a Nike-branded video of himself throwing to a number of high-profile players at the apparel brand’s world headquarters in Oregon.

Simply labeled “We Stay Sharp,” the viral clips shows Kaepernick throwing to players including Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, Dolphins wideout Jaylen Waddle, Titans running back Derrick Henry, Steelers running back Najee Harris, Saints receiver Chris Olave and Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne.

While it seems unlikely that Kaepernick, 35, would actually have a shot of returning to a league where he’d now be one of the oldest players, Lamb — who was an All-Pro last year during a career season as the No. 1 target in Dallas — said the former 49er has “still got it to him” and that his “arm is still intact” on deep balls.

Bourne, who is used to catching footballs from noodle-armed Mac Jones in New England, agreed. “Man, he looks great,” he said. “He looks good. The arm looks strong. He’s got a rocket of an arm. He’s got another good six years left.”

It’s interesting Bourne chose that number because six is the number of years Kaepernick played in the NFL, as well as the number of seasons he’s been out of football since opting out of his contract in San Francisco in the 2017 offseason. After leaving the 49ers, Kaepernick reportedly turned down a contract offer from the Denver Broncos and also rejected offers to play in the CFL and the start-up Alliance of American Football.

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Last month, Kaepernick — who went just 3-16 in his final two seasons as a starting QB and had a cumulative quarterback rating of 52.0 (30th out of 32 quarterbacks) — told Sports Illustrated he still trains five to six days a week in anticipation of making another NFL comeback attempt. “I’m going to keep pushing,” Kaepernick said. “I’m going to keep fighting for it because I know I can step on the field and play. Every workout, every opportunity I’ve had to show that. [There are] a lot of very talented quarterbacks out there playing at high levels. I’m excited to see them continue to do their thing, and I hope I get to stand on the opposing sideline and go toe to toe with them.”

It’d be a great story if it happens, but Kaepernick returning to the NFL now seems like nothing more than a Hail Mary.

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