Colin Kaepernick will work out for NFL teams in Atlanta on Saturday. Since he has maintained that he has every intention of playing in the league again, it would have been very hard to turn down the opportunity.
As has been previously noted, the league is handing him a far less-than-ideal situation. The quarterback’s team requested for the workout to be on a Tuesday, when more team officials would be able to attend, but the NFL refused.
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson has more information on the timeline leading up to Saturday’s abrupt workout. He has gone so far as to call the entire event a “PR trap” by the league.
According to Robinson, once the offer was made, Kaepernick has just two hours to accept a workout that was four days away:
“First, a representative from the league called a select group of reporters last week and suggested they should be available on the following Tuesday for a worthwhile news development. The NFL wouldn’t say what it would be. Just that the reporters should be ready to share some breaking news. When the day arrived, the NFL called Kaepernick’s representatives for the first time in more than a year, instructing them that the league was willing to hold a private pro-day style workout for Kaepernick in Atlanta in four days. If he accepted, a memo would be sent to every NFL team inviting them to attend.
“The league wouldn’t answer why it was suddenly making the offer. It wouldn’t say who came up with the idea. It wouldn’t say who would attend. And it wouldn’t say why the workout was roughly 96 hours away and on a Saturday when most NFL teams were preparing for a game.
“But the NFL would say this: After nearly three years of waiting for this offer, Kaepernick had two hours to accept it.”
As Robinson goes on to argue, the NFL looks like it is extending an olive branch to Kaepernick after nearly three years of exile, when really, it could be clearing the deck completely.
Colin Kaepernick couldn’t turn down the offer, but it seems very unlikely that this will land him a job, with just about a month of the NFL season left. Others have said that 2020 opportunities are more likely, and the head of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith has said he expects Kaep to land a job.
This still feels like it should fall squarely in “believe it when we see it” range.
The best argument against Robinson’s is that the NFL created a mid-season distraction after what was one of the best weekends of football we’ve gotten in a while, but beyond that, it is hard not to read it the same way he has.