After five years out of the NFL, Colin Kaepernick says he’s still looking for an opportunity to play, and he’s willing to accept a backup role at the NFL’s league minimum just to get the chance.
None of that should come as a surprise, as Kaepernick has consistently released workout footage of himself and made it public that he was looking for an opportunity to step back on an NFL field after he was blackballed by the league after the 2017 season. But what is new is that now, we finally get to hear the situation directly addressed in Kaepernick’s own words via his first interview in years on an episode of the I Am Athlete podcast, which dropped today.
The 52-minute episode appears to have been shot on location after one of Kaepernick’s throwing sessions, though it’s unclear how long ago the footage was shot and where. Kaepernick released video of at least one workout back in March, which caused a social media firestorm and prompted Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to reveal that Kaepernick had reached out to him seeking a tryout. He hasn’t gotten one yet.
Nonetheless, Kaepernick told I Am Athletes’ hosts, former NFL players Chad Johnson, Pacman Jones and Brandon Marshall, that he remains hopeful and that there’s been a strategy behind his silence with media over the past five years.
“In part, it was a response to the situation I was in. The narrative that was out there was, ‘Oh, well, it’s gonna be a media circus, it’s gonna be all of that. What else comes with him?’” Kaepernick said, addressing speculation that if a team picked him up they’d be bombarded with negative media coverage.
“Ok, well I’ll be quiet. I’ll do all my work behind the scenes, I’ll be prepared, and we’re gonna continue to reach out to every team for a workout.”
And if an offer comes to play for a team that expects him to be a backup or play at the league minimum salary? No problem, he said.
“I know I have to find my way back in. So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that’s fine. But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such.”
For the record, the NFL minimum for a player with Kaepernick’s six years’ experience would be $1.035 million for the upcoming season.