Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick received more attention this offseason for a potential on-the-field addition to a 2022 NFL team than any other year since 2016.
After some hype from Jim Harbaugh, head coach at the University of Michigan, Kaepernick actually received an honest-to-goodness tryout with the Las Vegas Raiders in May. Las Vegas did not sign him, but the audition was the first for Kaepernick for a single team in years.
And because the Minnesota Vikings new general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, worked with Kaepernick for four seasons in San Francisco, the Vikings were considered a dark-horse landing spot for Kaepernick if he was indeed still equipped to play in the NFL.
In 2016, Kaepernick peacefully protested police brutality in the United States by kneeling during the national anthem, a recommendation from a former Green Beret. Yet, at a time when American politics were rumbling along divided fault lines, Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality was switched by some to a “he’s anti-military” talking point. Correspondingly, NFL teams were skittish about employing Kaepernick, and he never played professional football again after the 2016 campaign.
So, when Kaepernick worked out for the Raiders last month, it seemed the 34-year-old might return to the league as a backup quarterback.
But there was a problem. Kaepernick’s workout was horrid, according to Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.
Sapp told VLAD TV last week about Kaepernick’s tryout with Las Vegas, “I heard it was a disaster. I heard one of the worst workouts ever.”
Sapp played for the Raiders from 2004 to 2007.
Kaepernick’s undesirable tryout assessment from Sapp checks out as the veteran passer remains unsigned. He hasn’t played football for six years, and the possibility of futility is real. There is virtually no precedent for a professional football player returning to the game after a six-year layoff, whether the absence was the fault of his own or a collective NFL blackballing.
Kaepernick acknowledged before the Las Vegas tryout that his days as a starting quarterback are long gone. But he reasonably believed catching on as a QB2 or QB3 was realistic.
According to Sapp, though, who has no vested interest in misleading VLAD TV or the general public, Kaepernick may not be good enough for a reservist quarterback job.
Kaepernick turns 35 in November.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).