Earlier this month, NFL commissioner Goodell did not offer an apology to Kaepernick and failed even to mention him by name when he recorded an apology video to NFL players. In the footage, Goodell acknowledged the league was wrong not to listen sooner about racial injustice and silencing players protests as it responded to calls from a group of players to issue an explicit condemnation of racism. And he encouraged players to protest peacefully.
The league pledged $250 million to combat systematic racism over the next ten years. Goodell remarks came as the NFL recommits to social justice causes in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody.
On Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supports and encourages the leagues, 32 teams, to extend a contract offer to free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the first pro athlete to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality in the United States. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season. He went unsigned after opting for his contract with the 49ers in early 2017.
The dispute between Kaepernick and the NFL reignited last fall when the league organized a private workout for Kaepernick and invited all 32 teams to attend. Kaepernick pulled out of the workout hours before it was set to begin. His representatives said the exercise was canceled because the NFL refused to allow the media to attend and asked Kaepernick to sign an unusual liability waiver.
Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL that fall, accusing the 32 team owners of conspiring to keep him off the field due to his role in the protest, but the two sides reached a settlement in February 2019.
There is little evidence that any teams have concrete plans to sign the 32-year-old, but after Goodell in support and encouraging them to sign Kaepernick, we might see him in the field again. He has retained a prominent role with Nike as a brand ambassador and remains one of the best value-for-money signings out there: a league-average quarterback available for free.
There aren’t many starting spots left on the quarterback carousel, but there remain plenty of places where he could be a quality backup. Here are the best fits if he returns to the NFL, keeping in mind that these teams would suit Kaepernick rather than those that are likely to sign him.
- Baltimore Ravens
- New England Patriots
- Seattle Seahawks
- Arizona Cardinals
And the NFL should go a step further than merely saying Colin Kaepernick’s name. It should offer him a job.
True, this idea has all kinds of complications and issues. For starters, Kaepernick wants to play football, not work as a player liaison officer or front a league-backed scheme that is more performative than real. And then there is a small fact that he sued the NFL and its owners, plus he has partnered with major brands that have the kind of reach that will allow him the platform.
Rachel Lott is a Reporter for Chroniclex After graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, Rachel got an internship at USA Evening and worked as a Reporter and Producer. Rachel has also worked as a Reporter for WKYC TV and Fox News Channel. Rachel Covers International Developments.