The possibility of bringing in Colin Kaepernick for a tryout was “discussed” by the quarterback-needy Washington Redskins, according to coach Jay Gruden, who said the team made a “strictly football” decision to look elsewhere.
“Isn’t it obvious what the real reason is?” Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, hasn’t played since the 2016 season, when he began kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality and social and racial injustice. He filed a grievance against the NFL last year, saying team owners colluded to keep him off rosters.
Kaepernick was added to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats negotiation list, dropped, and subsequently put on by the Montreal Alouettes who have hung on to the 31-year-old’s exclusive rights should he ever come to Canada.
Since the San Francisco 49ers selected Kaepernick in the second round, 36th overall of the 2011 NFL draft, the University of Nevada alum has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns with 30 interceptions and 2,300 rushing yards (6.1 yards per ) and 13 touchdowns in six NFL season. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2013.
Kaepernick has stated he is not interested in playing in the CFL though Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed has been in contact with the quarterback’s camp. From a monetary standpoint, there’s no need for Kaepernick to play football as he has earned more than $24 million during his NFL career.
Kaepernick has been a free agent since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017, leading to speculation that he has been blackballed by the league.
Gruden told reporters that there would have been “a greater possibility” of considering Kaepernick for a roster spot if the Redskins were in need of a QB in Week 1 rather than at this stage of the season.
“Not a lot of time to really get a brand new quarterback and new system installed and taught in a couple of days of practice. So he’s been talked about and discussed, but we’ll probably go a different direction,” Gruden said.
“You want to have somebody with a similar skill set to the quarterback you have. Not that Colin can’t do some of the things that I’m talking about, but somebody with a little bit of familiarity.”
– with AP files