MUNICH – It’s been 1971 since Colin Kaepernick played his last game in the NFL. He never lost sight of his goal of being active on the court again. Now it looks closer than ever to a comeback.
According to information from ESPN, the 34-year-old completed team training with the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday. It’s the first time the playmaker has returned to training with an NFL team as an out-of-contract player. Most recently, the quarterback paid a visit to the Seattle Seahawks in May 2017, but they decided not to commit.
Does he really have a realistic chance of getting back in the game with the Las Vegas Raiders?
Privilege has no real need. Derek Carr had an impressive season with 4,804 yards and signed a massive three-year contract for $121.5 million. So he is obligated until the 2025 season.
At Nick Mullens and Jarrett Stidham, there are also two backups who have already played several NFL games. There’s also a new, undeveloped Chase Garbers signature of California Golden Bears.
But why would the Raiders invite Kaepernick to train if they didn’t need a new midfielder at all?
Kaepernick in Raiders: QB has known OC Lombardi 49 times
One reason for this may be the personal relationship between Kaepernick and Mick Lombardi, the Raiders attack coordinator. He held various coaching positions with the San Francisco 49ers from 2013 to 2016, including his offensive assistant and offensive QC coach, thus working closely with Kaepernick.
It is very likely that he campaigned for his ex-boyfriend.
Plus, the Raiders are in dire need of good publicity after last season’s scandals. The racism scandal of former coach Jon Gruden and the drama of the Henry Raj incident have cast the franchise in a bad light.
Giving a player who has been shamed for his protests against racism a chance is good for the public image of this team.
The Davis royal family often gave minorities a chance
Additionally, giving the opportunity to minorities or those who have been discriminated against for many years has been part of the Davis family’s self-image.
Al Davis, father of current owner Mark Davis who died in 2011, hired Art Shell, the NFL’s first black coach, and Amy Trask, its first CEO. Davis was also the first team owner to draft the first-round black quarterback at Eldridge Dickey and install a Hispanic head coach at Tom Flores.
Karl Nessib, who was the first active NFL player to admit his bisexuality, was also a contracted Raiders at the time.
However, the question remains: is the Raiders training just a PR campaign or a real opportunity?
If Kaepernick is a real contender to the Raiders, the best he can do is compete for the backup role. Carr is irreplaceable having demonstrated solid leadership during a difficult season last year.
But is it worth installing a media player like “Kap” as a backup?
Kaepernick can pump a lot of money into the coffers
The quarterback himself refutes the bias that it can cause too many distractions. “In the 2016 season, my final year, my teammates voted me the most courageous and inspiring player,” Kaepernick said on the podcast I Am An Athlete in April.
On top of that: “So when you talk about the people in the building, it never occurred to you that I was a distraction. It was never a problem that I was a problem for the people I played with.”
According to Kaepernick, there shouldn’t be any content differences between him and the NFL anyway: “You have ‘End Racism’ in the back of the end zone. They (the players) have ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their helmets. It should be. Everything I have said is consistent with what they are saying publicly now.”
In addition, according to Kaepernick, it will not only be an athletic win but also a financial gain: “It’s a $16 billion deal. When I first got on my knees, my shirt went to No. 1. When I got the deal with Nike and it increased in value by six billions of dollars.”
So if the Kaepernick team chooses, there could be economic reasons as well. Whether the Conquerors seize the opportunity or another NFL team is another matter.
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