Colin Kaepernick may not ever work in the NFL again.
According to the New York Post, two reactions from NFL figures show why he probably won’t anytime soon.
Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who helped take his team to the Super Bowl several years ago, hasn’t been able to find a job after becoming a free agent. He’s been credited with starting protests during the U.S. national anthem last season, which drew intense media scrutiny. Kaepernick and others say they’re protesting against perceived police brutality and racism in the United States.
After a loss to the rival Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked about his quarterback situation after star Aaron Rodgers was injured. A reporter fielded the question about whether he’d sign Colin Kaepernick.
“Did you just listen to that question I just answered?” he said angrily, according to the New York Post.
He said, “I got three years invested in Brett Hundley. Two years invested in Joe Callahan. The quarterback room is exactly where it needs to be. OK? We’re fortunate to have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. We’re committed to the path that we’re on. We need to play better as a football team.” Hundley is Rodgers’s backup.
One commentator said that Kaepernick’s style of play might not mesh well with some (but not all) teams.
“This guy’s like a toothache that just won’t go away,” former Bengals and Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason said on CBS Radio on Monday, the Post reported.
“He’s not going to play for me and my West Coast offense, which is what they run up there [in Green Bay]. … There is no way in the world that Colin Kaepernick could go in there tomorrow, learn that offense and go out on the field and play next week. I don’t know what people are thinking about. I don’t know why they don’t understand that the NFL and offenses in the NFL are extremely difficult to pick up,” Esiason noted.
“CBS Sports” reported that Kaepernick is waking up early to reportedly throw hundreds of passes a day. Meanwhile, he hasn’t publicly commented on the anthem protests or on whether he wants to play.
“The other aspect of all of this with Colin Kaepernick is, how much does he want it?” Esiason said. “And how much more is he going to let somebody else talk for him? When is he going to open his own mouth and say, ‘Yeah, you know, I want to play and this is how much I want.’”
Another reason that compounds Kaepernick’s bid to get a job in the league is his recent filing of a legal grievance, accusing all 32 teams of colluding to keep him out. Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, said in a statement over the weekend that the former 49ers quarterback exhausted “every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives,” reports said.
The league hasn’t commented on the legal move, but the owners of those 32 teams, however, likely aren’t happy with the legal maneuver.
Some legal experts said Kaepernick’s complaint is a long-shot.
“Just because he’s empirically better doesn’t logically mean that a team would necessarily sign him over someone else,” said Michael McCann, a sports law expert at the University of New Hampshire, according to the LA Times.
“Even if that’s not fair,” McCann added, “no team is obligated to sign him.”