This Saturday, the NFL will host a private workout for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, granting all 32 teams an opportunity to scout and interview the 32-year-old as part of his attempt to return to football.
Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since January 2017, long since contending that his former on-field protests and ongoing off-field social activism led to teams blacklisting him from the league. But roughly nine months after against the NFL alongside current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, the free agent is set to showcase his skills for a chance at a comeback, as first reported by ESPN.
All 32 teams will reportedly be sent video of Kaepernick’s workout and interview session, but in advance of the event, several franchises are already making plans to check in on the ex-Niners standout.
Here’s a complete rundown of which teams will reportedly send scouts to the workout:
Head coach Dan Quinn has insisted the Falcons had nothing to do with scheduling Kaepernick’s workout, which will take place in their own stadium, comparing the situation to the Indianapolis Colts hosting the scouting combine, but ProFootballTalk reported Wednesday the team “will have someone at their facility” to observe.
The Falcons obviously have no need for a starting QB, with Matt Ryan three years removed from a Super Bowl start and just one year into a five-year, $150 million extension. But it’s not like they’ve got any other long-term options at the position. Backup Matt Schaub is the only other QB under contract, and he’ll be 39 in 2020.
The Bengals “will be evaluating” — and, thus, presumably attending — Kaepernick’s workout, according to Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
If ever there were a team with an incentive to take a swing at Kaepernick, it might be Cincy. The team has already all but moved on from longtime starter Andy Dalton, recently benching the 32-year-old for rookie Ryan Finley in a not-so-subtle push for better 2020 draft picks, and the offensive-minded Zac Taylor, who’s now 0-9 to start his head-coaching career, will assuredly be eyeing QB help moving forward. The Bengals have also never been afraid of embracing “distractions,” regardless of whether Kaepernick deserves to be labeled one.
Coach Jason Garrett deferred to the team’s front office when asked whether Dallas will scout Kaepernick on Wednesday, but ProFootballTalk reported the Cowboys are, in fact, expected to have representation at the event.
Dallas is unlikely to be in the market for a starting QB, although team owner Jerry Jones has gone back and forth with public comments about the likelihood of a big-money extension for current No. 1 Dak Prescott, who will be a free agent after the season. Behind Prescott, whose salary demands were rumored to be too lofty entering 2019, the Cowboys only have Cooper Rush, who’s thrown all of three passes since 2017.
The Broncos will be represented at Kaepernick’s workout, most likely by a scout from their pro personnel department, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post.
Denver isn’t that far removed from trading a fourth-round draft pick for Joe Flacco, who’s under contract through 2022, when he’ll be 36. But it’d be wild if general manager John Elway isn’t looking for some way out of the deal now that the offense has been turned over to reserve Brandon Allen. It should be noted that Elway himself admittedly tried landing Kaepernick back in 2016, even hosting the QB at his home before a potential deal fell through.
The Lions are “willing to turn over any rock to find players who can help,” per MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke, and thus will be at Kaepernick’s workout to “see what he can do.”
Like the Falcons, they don’t seem particularly likely to extend more than a passing glance, however. Longtime starter Matthew Stafford is banged up, but he’s also having an admirable season and is signed through 2022. Backup Jeff Driskel, meanwhile, nearly led a surprise victory in place of Stafford on Sunday and has fared OK in emergency starts before.
The Dolphins appear to be the first team to publicly confirm they’ll be scouting Kaepernick at the workout, with coach Brian Flores telling reporters Wednesday the club will be represented in Atlanta.
Miami might be more in need of QB help than any team outside the Bengals, and for months, people around the NFL have openly speculated about the Dolphins tanking their way to a high 2020 draft pick, which could be used on a top-flight passing prospect. Neither Ryan Fitzpatrick nor Josh Rosen seems likely to stick around for long. Flores was noncommittal when asked whether Kaepernick could have a role on the team, saying he likes Miami’s current QB room but would be open to any improvements.
The Giants are planning to be at Kaepernick’s workout, according to NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo.
Team owner John Mara reportedly — and somewhat infamously — predicted in 2017 that whichever team ultimately signed Kaepernick would face tremendous backlash but also suggested the QB “has some good football left in him.” The Giants are obviously committed to first-round rookie Daniel Jones as their starter, but they’ve got only 38-year-old impending free agent Eli Manning and Alex Tanney, a career backup with just one game on his resume, behind their face of the franchise.
The Patriots will have a representative at Kaepernick’s workout, according to the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride.
No, New England isn’t moving on from Tom Brady, maybe the greatest QB of all time. But this week, Bill Belichick and Co. “have become known for scooping up talent that has been on the outside looking in,” and there’s also no telling whether Brady, 42, could finally call it quits after 2019 — or, for whatever reason, seek a change of scenery. Fourth-round rookie Jarrett Stidham has impressed in limited time, but the Pats simply can never be ruled out when it comes to big-name tryouts.
A late Wednesday addition to the club, Washington is also set to observe Kaepernick in person, as NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay reported.
The Redskins aren’t exactly in dire need of a veteran QB at the moment, considering first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins was just declared the team’s starter for the remainder of 2019 and both Case Keenum and Colt McCoy occupy their bench. And that’s not even mentioning former starter Alex Smith, who hasn’t played since suffering a severe leg injury in November 2018 but is set to earn $21.4 million in 2020 and technically remains under contract through 2022.