NFL and Kaepernick’s Camps Blame Each Other After Failed Workout: Report

November 24, 2019 Updated: November 25, 2019

The NFL and Colin Kaepernick’s teams have expressed mutual distrust after a league-hosted workout failed, according to a report from The Associated Press.

“Representatives from both sides blamed each other for what went wrong on Nov. 16. Kaepernick’s side said the NFL orchestrated a workout as a public relations stunt destined to fail, while the league said it gave him a real chance to show off his skills—and he didn’t show up,” AP reported.

Kaepernick’s camp told the news outlet that the NFL gave him two hours to accept an invitation four days ahead of time.

A person said that they questioned the timing, purpose, and other details surrounding the workout, saying that they thought it was creating an impression the NFL wanted to give him a chance under hard-to-manage pretenses.

But the NFL said it was Commissioner Roger Goodell’s idea to give him a chance to work out in front of 25 teams. The league hadn’t arranged other tryouts for free agents in the past.

Since Kaepernick—who protested during the national anthem by taking a knee, has an outsized presence because of his controversial nature—Goodell wanted to give him a chance, AP reported.

“Teams were expressing interest in knowing whether Kaepernick was serious about playing. Kaepernick posted on social media that he was working out five days a week and ready to play again. Goodell spoke to other league officials and people outside the organization and decided an open tryout would give teams an opportunity to see for themselves,” according to AP.

Kaepernick also wanted the workout open to the media, while the NFL did not, the report also said. It wanted Kaepernick, 31, the chance to have the “best platform from which to perform,” it said.

“Kaepernick’s team said he didn’t know which receivers he’d be throwing to and what routes they would run, so he brought in his own guys. He also wasn’t immediately informed that former Browns coach Hue Jackson would run the workout along with former Dolphins coach Joe Philbin,” the report also said.

Following the move, the out-of-work quarterback called out the league to “stop running.”

“I’ve been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years,” he said, reported ESPN. “We all know why I came out here, showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we’re waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people. We’re out here, we’re ready to play. We’re ready to go anywhere. My agent, Jeff Nalley, is ready to talk to any team. I’ll interview with any team at any time. I’ve been ready.”

But an ESPN reporter, a week after the workout, said that no teams have contacted him.

“Zero. Absolutely zero. The workout last week did absolutely nothing to enhance the chances that Colin Kaepernick is going to wind up with another team,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Sunday on SportsCenter.

“There hasn’t been a team that has requested a visit. There hasn’t been a team that has expressed interest in signing him. So, despite the fact that one week ago we saw Colin Kaepernick work out at the high school down in the Atlanta area, it has not translated into any results, and though the league wanted to try to help out, at least said it was trying to help out, nothing’s come of it. Colin Kaepernick’s wait continues, and it looks like it’s going to be continuing for a very, very, very long time,” he said, according to Bleacher Report.

Kaepernick hasn’t played a snap since early 2017 and later sued the NFL before settling for an undisclosed amount of money.

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