Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to sit on the open market, waiting for an opportunity. He met with the Seattle Seahawks, but they elected to sign Austin Davis to compete behind Russell Wilson. At this point, if Kaepernick is going to get signed anywhere, it likely will not be until after a player gets injured in training camp or during the season.
Recently, Kaepernick’s top receiver from last season, Jeremy Kerley, chatted about Kaepernick’s free agency in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. He has great respect for Kaepernick, and said he is surprised more people do not ask him about Kaepernick.
"I wish they would," Kerley said. "I would speak very highly of him. First, if you don’t stand for something then you don’t stand for nothing. He spoke up about a subject at a time where maybe just the right people weren’t stepping up. He did it, he stood behind it. He made the sacrifice that maybe not a lot of guys would have made knowing that the consequences would be what they were."
Kerley then added, "He’s been a man of his word. He still gives back. He’s promoting change. Do I agree with it? Who’s to say. Everybody goes about their business a different way. But do I have much, much respect for him? Hell yeah."
Kaepernick has remained silent about football, with only his current trainer expressing that the quarterback is working hard to compete for a job this fall. This has led to many media folks saying he needs to speak up. Albert Breer is the latest to call for him to say something, following Peter King’s own calls for the same thing.
In reality, calls by people like Breer and King to talk seem to be more about the media getting information than anything to do with his actual football market. If a team is wondering if he is interested in football, it is easy for them to pick up the phone and speak to his agent.
It’s hard at times to take Breer seriously. I don’t think he fully comprehends the racial issues in play. After all, when Adam Jones said he was called the N-word at Fenway Park, Breer’s first response was to say it does not represent the whole region, and that he wants proof because he never heard that happen when he has been to games. Not exactly the most enlightened or empathetic of responses. That’s not to say he doesn’t know football, but he strikes me as more of a Shield defender than someone who is taking some time to understand the nuances of the issue.
In his article, Breer pointed to more anonymous comments from a 49ers employee suggesting laziness in Kaepernick. He said it was a staffer from last year, and didn’t clarify if the comment was from last year, or more recently in advance of this article. However, given the 49ers history with Kaepernick leaks, and coupled with actual on-the-record comments about Kaepernick’s work ethic, it’s hard to take Breer seriously on a lot of this.
We’ve had plenty of discussion about whether or not Kaepernick is being black-balled. I don’t think there was a league wide memo sent out, or conference call held saying, don’t sign this guy. The NFL is stupid on some things, but I don’t think they would be so stupid as to collude in that manner (NFL: “Hold my beer.”). But, the protest has impacted his ability to sign. If he had not taken a knee, I am confident he would have signed somewhere by this point. Maybe not as a starter, but he would be under contract to a different team. So, yes, the protest is the reason he has not been signed, albeit maybe not in exactly the way some would suggest. If he was a significantly better quarterback, the protest likely would not matter. But as the quarterback he currently is, if he had not protested, he would be heading to training camp with a team.