Colin Kaepernick.Thearon W. Henderson/GettyColin Kaepernick will take part in a private workout in front of NFL teams on Saturday, but the details surrounding the event are hazy.The timing of the workout is confusing, as it takes place on a Saturday, a busier day in the NFL, and Kaepernick's team had little knowledge of the plans for the workout until the NFL approached them on Tuesday and gave them two hours to say yes.The workout itself is being compared to a pro day for a college prospect, but according to reports, Kaepernick's usual team will not be running the workout, and former coaches will instead conduct it. It's unclear what it will entail, and Kaepernick was reportedly unaware of the interview portion of the event.Some think the event is a PR stunt by the league and will not make Kaepernick look good.Despite some hazy details, some also think it will be Kaepernick's best shot to get back in the league, as there are some interested teams.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Colin Kaepernick is getting another shot at the NFL. How this opportunity transpired, however, remains somewhat confusing.
On Tuesday, the NFL sent a memo announcing the 32-year-old Kaepernick would be participating in a private workout on Saturday for all 32 teams to attend. It is slated to have an on-field portion and an interview. The video will be available to organizations afterward.
According to a league source, teams have been inquiring about the NFL readiness of Kaepernick. The league and Kaepernick's representatives had discussions about his determination to get back in the league, and this workout allows teams to see Kaepernick and judge for themselves if they want to bring him on board.
The situation has only raised more questions about how this opportunity came about.Why is this happening now?
Roger Goodell.Andy Clayton-King/APSeveral teams have told reporters that they will have a representative available at Kaepernick's workout. As NFL Network's Silver asked: why are teams now attending after Kaepernick was not granted a private workout over the past two-plus seasons?
NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported that the league was fielding questions from teams about Kaepernick, but that those teams still weren't working him out.
They wanted to know — apparently these teams are calling the NFL — Kaepernick's readiness, Wyche said. But they weren't willing to bring him in for a workout, even though it was suggested to bring him in. 'Why are you calling us? You guys bring him in?' These teams wouldn't bring him in, so the NFL said, 'Okay, we're gonna do this for you.'
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have had a role, too. ESPN's Adam Schefter said on SportsCenter that Goodell feels bad about the circumstances surrounding Kaepernick over the last three years.
There's a part of [Goodell] that feels bad about the way that this has unfolded, Schefter said. I think that he believes that he must do his part to try to get a workout for Colin Kaepernick, to try to get interviews for Colin Kaepernick, to try to do his part to try to get Colin Kaepernick in front of teams. Roger Goodell cannot make teams sign a quarterback himself ... but [the league] can arrange something like this that really turns into Colin Kaepernick's pro day.It's becoming clear that the opportunity caught Kaepernick by surprise
On Tuesday, the NFL contacted Kaepernick's team and explained the idea of the workout. According to The Ringer's Ricky R. Tynes, the request came out of the blue. Tynes reported that Kaepernick and the NFL had not been in communication up to this point.
According to both Tynes and ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano, Kaepernick's team asked if the workout could be held Tuesday, which is when most NFL workouts take place. Kaepernick's camp argued that this Saturday would be tougher for NFL personnel, as many are scouting college football games on Saturday and preparing for games on Sunday. The NFL said no. Kaepernick's team reportedly asked if the workout could be held next Saturday to give teams more notice. The NFL said no. It also gave Kaepernick's team until 4 p.m. ET to answer.
According to ESPN, Kaepernick's team grew skeptical of the opportunity as some sort of PR stunt. According to Wyche, the league argued that it wasn't a PR stunt because they wouldn't otherwise want to draw attention to a somewhat dormant issue.
Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick.AP/Mike McCarnKaepernick, of course, filed a grievance against the league in 2017 over going un-signed. The league and Kaepernick agreed to a settlement for undisclosed terms in February. Though Kaepernick and his camp have insisted he is ready to play, his unemployment has not drawn much attention this season.
Kaepernick's camp asked the league for a list of attendants, and the league is reportedly giving them a rolling list of teams expected to attend the workout.
According to Tynes, Kaepernick called his attorneys on Tuesday to strategize and gain clarity on what was happening. He then put out a public statement in response that seemed to confirm he was caught off-guard by the development.An uncertain setup at the workout
The scheduling of the workout still leaves some questions, like why the league was not flexible on when it could take place.
There is also conflicting information on the ease of holding the workout on Saturday. Wyche reported that NFL executives argued that Saturday is easier because teams can send area scouts and that Tuesdays are busy with other workouts and game-planning for the next week's games.
NFL Network's Mike Silver argued otherwise, saying in a tweet that Tuesdays are often when coaches and GMs have more availability. A later date would also give teams more time to prepare.
The timing didn't make a whole lot of sense, a source told Tynes.
Colin Kaepernick.Eric Espada/GettyIt's also unclear how exactly the workout will unfold. According to Graziano, it will be administered by National Football Scouting Jeff Foster, who also picks prospects to attend the NFL combine and administers the combine tests.
Graziano also reported that the workout will be conducted by former NFL coaches, though the names haven't been decided yet.
Tynes reported that the workout would not include the usual crew of people Kaepernick has been working out with during his time away from the league.
The set-up may not benefit Kaepernick, according to Silver. Silver noted that most pro days are scripted, with coaches picked by the players running drills and tests the players are comfortable with.
Silver also reported that Kaepernick was unaware of the interview portion of the workout and only learned of it after the league's memo had been sent out.Skepticism remains
Not everyone is sold that the NFL is doing Kaepernick much of a favor.
Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid said he wasn't ready to call it progress. Reid is a good friend of Kaepernick's who protested alongside him in 2016 and also filed a grievance against the league when he went un-signed (he joined the Panthers last season during the lawsuit and settled alongside Kaepernick).
I'll quote Malcolm X. If you stick a knife nine inches in my back and pull it out six, it's not progress. There's still a knife in my back, Reid told reporters.
Reid said he spoke to Kaepernick on Tuesday and that Kaepernick had similar concerns about the timing and setup of the workout.
According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, even some team officials question the integrity of the workout.A possible last chance to get back in the league
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Even with the somewhat hazy details surrounding the event, it still looks like Kaepernick's best and last chance to get back in the league.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer called it an unprecedented move by the league. Indeed, there may not have ever been a time in NFL history when the league orchestrated a workout for a single player.
Silver echoed that point, saying Kaepernick will still get a chance to throw in front of curious teams.
Responses are still coming in. According to a list of reports compiled by The Washington Post, nine teams have already said they would attend, including the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Washington Redskins. More are likely to confirm in the coming days if they will attend or not.
Kaepernick has publicly said that he still preparing and trying to get back into the NFL. Nobody knows how Saturday's workout will go, but at the moment, it represents Kaepernick's best chance at another job.