Saturday was certainly something. Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick put on a workout in Atlanta amidst what turned into a rather chaotic situation. He put together a solid showing in his throwing drills, but given the nature of the NFL and its member teams, odds are pretty good it won’t be enough to get him back into the league — even as it is apparent he is better than quite a few quarterbacks in the league.
The chaos got started early — or at least picked up from the midweek chaos of it all. The NFL had scheduled the workout for 3:00 p.m. at the Atlanta Falcons facility. Kaepernick and his camp did not trust the NFL — understandably so — and wanted to film the workout and have media present to create some measure of transparency. The NFL refused and so Kaepernick and his crew moved the workout to a local high school reportedly an hour from the Falcons facility. It’s worth noting the facility was ready for the process, including security, which suggests Kaepernick’s team figured they would have some issues with the league.
The NFL issued a statement in which they talked about Kaepernick not appearing for his workout at the Falcons facility. There is an extensive back-and-forth going on, but already, Nike is calling out the NFL for a false claim in the third bullet point of this statement and is trying to get a retraction.
NFL’s response to Colin Kaepernick opting to do his own workout today in Atlanta: pic.twitter.com/uvUZGH7CQ5— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2019
The workout eventually got underway, and Kaepernick threw approximately 60 passes. He mixed in short, intermediate, and deep passes. He simulated drop-backs from under center and also from the shotgun, and worked in bootlegs as well. He was not perfect in his accuracy, but he showed he has the arm and still has plenty of touch on his passes. This was probably the most impressive of his passes.
Kaepernick’s team told the media that eight teams had representatives on hand for the workout at the new location. Seven of the teams were the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. The eighth team is unclear.
Originally, 24 teams were on hand for the event.
A local station had a live stream of the Kaepernick’s workout, which you can watch below. It gets the whole thing from start to finish, so you can offer some thoughts of your own on how the workout looks.
Colin Kaepernick statement to the media
Following the workout, Kaepernick spoke to the media for approximately 90 seconds. There had been a formal interview planned with the NFL, but given how the process played out, he simply made a statement and then left the facility. Kaepernick thanked the media for showing up and offered support to them for what they’ve gone through the past three years. He also thanked his supporters, and then called out Roger Goodell and the 32 teams to let them know the ball was in their court moving forward.
Colin Kaepernick made a 90 second statement before leaving pic.twitter.com/QlH2RTnLp5— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 16, 2019
What NFL personnel thought
After today’s workout in Atlanta, an NFL executive at Colin Kaepernick’s throwing session said his arm talent is “elite” and is the same as when he came out of college. He said that Kaepernick threw the ball well.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2019
Colin Kaepernick got some very positive feedback from the scouts in attendance about his elite arm strength and ability to throw the deep ball.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 16, 2019
Spoke with teams that had people at Kap workout. What I got back ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 17, 2019
• 60 scripted throws.
• No running/agility work.
• Arm strength is there.
• In good shape.
• Had some accuracy issues.
• Same tight, mechanical delivery.
Basically showed he's the same guy he was.
Kaepernick said he’s ready to go anywhere to meet with a team, and yet, it seems unlikely we see an NFL team actually reach out and make something happen. Eight teams on hand is better than none, but most of them likely will not be pushing for a quarterback anytime soon. The Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions make a lot of sense given Marcus Mariota’s ineffectiveness and Matthew Stafford’s back injury. I’m not holding my breath anything happens, but I’ve been surprised before.