August 10, 2022

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The quarterback rolls out to his proper, avoiding the push for the would-be edge rusher, and hurls the ball 65-yards within the air.

The go he launches with a flick of the wrist simply misses the outstretched arms of Montreal Alouettes receiver Fabian Guerra Jr. and hits the Tequesta Hint Park subject gate behind the tip zone.

Colin Kaepernick slaps his palms collectively in disappointment, as if he had simply missed a game-winning landing go.

It was his closing day of on-field work with South Florida skilled athletes, and as somebody who witnessed the exercises of the previous San Francisco 49ers starter, if Kaepernick weren’t being blackballed by the NFL — which settled a lawsuit he and former security Eric Reid had towards the league alleging they collude to maintain him out of the NFL — he would nonetheless be within the league.

And Kaepernick may nonetheless be a starter too.

The athleticism he used to steer the 49ers to Tremendous Bowl XLVII was nonetheless there.

His arm was so spectacular the constant grievance from receivers like Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Jakeem Grant, Brandon Marshall and Chad Ochocinco was that he wanted to take somewhat warmth off his throws.

I left my interplay with Kaepernick, 34, questioning why Geno Smith, Colt McCoy, Brian Hoyer, and Mike Glennon, the same old solid of NFL backups, can simply discover work however a expertise who has led a crew to the Tremendous Bowl can’t?

Is it due to the potential controversy that might come from signing a participant whose act of kneeling in the course of the taking part in of a nationwide anthem to create consciousness to social justice points in America would generate?

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Shouldn’t that divisiveness have went away after the NFL modified its tune on soccer taking a stand for social justice following the brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, which led to protests throughout America in the course of the summer time of 2020?

Or is the messenger extra troublesome than the message?

“You could have Finish Racism behind your finish zone. You could have Black Lives Matter in your helmet. Every thing I’ve mentioned ought to be in alignment with what you’re saying publicly,” Kaepernick instructed the I Am Athlete podcast when requested about being a possible distraction to a crew that might probably signal him. “[The NFL’s] a $16 billion enterprise. After I first took a knee, my jersey went to No. 1. After I did the take care of Nike, their worth elevated by six billion {dollars}. Six billion. With a B.

“So should you’re speaking concerning the enterprise aspect, it exhibits [it’s] helpful,” Kaepernick continued. “In the event you’re speaking concerning the taking part in aspect, let me are available, let me compete. You possibly can consider me from there. The NFL’s alleged to be a meritocracy. Are available in, let me compete. If I’m not ok, do away with me. However let me are available and present you.”

That’s Kaepernick’s gross sales pitch to NFL groups just like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, the Washington Commanders, groups that every one want quarterback assist heading into subsequent week’s NFL draft.

These are franchises which have all seemingly debated whether or not or to not purchase Baker Mayfield and his totally assured $19 million wage from the Cleveland Browns. Why waste $19 million on a disgruntled former No. 1 choose after they might simply kick Kaepernick’s tires for a fraction of the associated fee?

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In the event you’re Seattle coach Pete Carroll and also you as soon as debated signing Kaepernick in 2017, and also you’re trying to find a brand new starter for the Seahawks, why not provide Kaepernick a one-year deal for the NFL minimal wage of $1 million to see what he nonetheless has to supply.

Kaepernick flat out mentioned he’d settle for it.

At this level Kaepernick realizes he’s acquired nothing to lose by making a direct pitch to NFL groups.

“I do know I’ve to search out my manner again in,” Kaepernick mentioned. “So, yeah, if I’ve to return in as a backup, that fantastic. However that’s not the place I’m staying. And after I show that I’m a starter, I need to have the ability to step on the sector as such. I simply want that chance to stroll by way of the door. … Greater than something, we’re simply in search of an opportunity to stroll by way of a door. I’ll deal with the remainder from there.”

If the NFL desires to legitimately declare they aren’t, or weren’t blackballing Kaepernick, and that they’ve modified their tune on social justice points, why not encourage groups to grant the person who sacrificed his profession — and roughly $100 million in profession earnings — a exercise.

Why not provide a chance to probably finish his taking part in profession on his personal phrases, competing to see if he can knock off 5 years of rust.

Kaepernick by no means requested to be the face of the social justice motion. What he’s asking for now is a chance to earn a spot on an NFL roster.

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For all the pieces Kaepernick’s endured, after 5 years of silence whereas working behind the scenes to alter lives, he deserves that likelihood.

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