Sport

Is Colin Kaepernick set for an NFL return?

Colin Kaepernick in action against the Ravens. Source: Wikimedia commons

by George Willoughby

The story of Colin Kaepernick is a turbulent one. From his performances on the pitch to his political activism, the 32-year-old has been no stranger to the headlines. Now, it looks like he might be close to an NFL return after hosting a public throwing workout at which representatives from a number of teams were in attendance. Kaepernick has not played a game since opting out of his contract in 2017.

The timetable of events for the quarterback really is quite astounding. Going back to 2012, Colin Kaepernick was able to get his first start for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick was drafted in the second round and was previously the backup for Alex Smith. Kaepernick took full advantage of the starting opportunity, showcasing his athleticism which warranted the early draft investment. 

Leading his team into the playoffs, the Nevada product continued to impress. In his first postseason start, Kapernick set the single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 181. He also threw for two passing touchdowns in a magnificent winning performance against the Green Bay Packers.

The quarterback pioneered a playoff run that would see his team with a chance to win the Superbowl in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the Baltimore Ravens came away victorious in a tightly contested game, but nonetheless, Colin Kaepernick had introduced himself as one of the NFL’s most exciting talents.

With expectations now high for the 2013 season, Kaepernick maintained his production and San Francisco made the postseason once again. There would be no Superbowl appearance this time around, however, two-straight years of Colin Kaepernick performing at an elite level meant a new six-year contract extension was agreed with the 49’ers.

Heading into the 2016 season, Kaepernick had the task of proving himself to a new head coach, as well as having to deal with multiple surgeries. More importantly, 2016 would be the year where Colin Kaepernick would kneel for the first time during the American national anthem. A decision he took in response to what he saw as oppression against black people in his country. He was not alone either. Teammate Eric Reid stood in solidarity with Kaepernick. 

The focus shifted from what he was doing on the field to off it, and the 32-year-old found himself under increased scrutiny for his actions when Donald Trump was elected into office. The President made it clear that any player kneeling should be ‘fired’ and Kaepernick subsequently opted-out of his contract in 2017.

Since then, Kaepernick has been busy, featuring in Nike adverts and continuing in his activism. The talk of his return to action has been discussed, but last week he seemed to make a conscious effort to publicly showcase his desire to play. He held an open throwing session at a high-school in Atlanta watched by NFL scouts. 

Kaepernick made sure to get his voice heard by conducting a quick interview after the conclusion of his session. He stated: “I have been ready for three years. I have been denied for three years.” 

Colin Kaepernick is ready to step out onto the field once again, but is the NFL?

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