The Whole Colin Kaepernick Workout Thing Was a Dumb Idea for Everyone Involved
Listen, I know full well anyone who sees this headline is not likely to read this all the way through--but hear me out because it will make sense if you drop your preconceived notions about politics and former NFL QB Colin Kaeprnick.
In case you hadn't heard (you'd have to have been under a rock), out of the blue last week, the NFL called Kapernick's representatives and said, "We're going to arrange a workout for your client". It was short on details initially, but over the course of the week---the NFL would announce there'd be a full-on "Pro-Day" style workout held at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility 45-miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.
The league then slowly released that scouts from several teams would attend said workout---but it would be a "Private" workout in front of said scouts with former coaches running it. They also specified one--and one camera would record the event to distribute to teams unable to attend the workout.
Long story being short---once the details finally trickled out into a coherent plan, there were lots of questions by pretty much everyone involved. 90-minutes before the scheduled 4pm workout---it all changed. Apparently, behind the scenes the NFL and Kapernick's people could not agree on the terms, access and legal ramifications of the event and it all broke down.
Except it didn't--the workout did happen, just later in the day at a high school an hour from the Falcons camp that the NFL determined would not be "Their" sanctioned event and none of the coaches would go. Several--but not all of the scouts who declared they'd attend, made it to Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, GA for a solid 40-minute throwing session by the former NFL QB.
Now---here's where I get to my point....
The NFL Really thinks we are all stupid:
--Of ALL the weeks to decide to stage a workout for the most polarizing NFL Player pretty much ever, why the second week in November, Week 11 of the season...on a Saturday where most coaches could not attend??
--Kaepernick has been out of the league for three years, there have been roughly 900+ other days this could have potentially happened. Why now, out of the blue?
--Why after all the negative publicity and hate thrown around both sides on this subject matter--did the NFL think holding it in private with zero access for anyone to document would be a good idea? They wouldn't even let Kaepernick's team bring in a single camera of their own....
--And lastly....why try to force feed a non-standard waiver to him stating he could not hold any decisions made no matter the outcome against the league??
Now, all that being said, Kaepernick and his reps did not help matters....
--Why wait until an hour before the event to say, nah, we're going to hold our own workout somewhere else? You obviously had a plan before the day started, since there was a location already set to go.
--I get the thought that if the league is willing to offer up a tryout, why not tryout, I'm not questioning that. But did you not think there would be a catch?
--At this point in time...do you really think it is worth going through all of this to get back on a playing field??
Listen--whether you like him or not, Colin Kaepernick is a pretty solid football player. Is he Lamar Jackson or Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes? No....
But is he better, even after sitting out for 3-years than say; Jeff Driskell, Brian Hoyer, Mitchell Trubisky, Kyle or Brandon Allen and/or Ryan Finley. Uh, yeah. Every one of these names started games in Week 11, none of them are what you would call "Semi-Elite" in any combination.
The NFL sorely needs guys who are pretty good at the QB position and Kapernick certainly from a physical standpoint could do that. But.....
A Week 11 workout with no legitimate practice time essentially makes him useless to any team in 2019. So why hold a workout now? My suspicion is the NFL wanted to say "Look, we gave him a chance". Which even at its best is a bit insincere. It was never about a legitimate chance. My guess is for some reason the Jolly Roger (Goodell) and company thought now would be a good time to eliminate the specter of Kaepernick for good. The NFL PR department for some reason thought---"Hey, maybe we do this and say he tanked and people will stop asking us about him"...
If that's the case--they could not have been more wrong.
All the conversation about having Kaepernick back in the NFL had all but gone away. Like everything else, time tends to quiet debate as life goes on and other things happen. The NFL could EASILY have just not done this...and we then aren't having this talk.
But they couldn't help themselves.
I will also add the fact Kaepernick and his reps moved and held their own workout is really irrelevant to the conversation for multiple reasons:
1--It doesn't matter whether he looked ready or not, there is ZERO percent of a chance a team will sign him. Mind you--this is a league where Josh Gordon can still play after his multiple drug arrests and Antonio Brown still has teams interested in signing him despite the horrific baggage and legal issues surrounding him....
2--This is all on the NFL. They didn't have to and should not have started the conversation, There was NOTHING to be gained by it. It was a "Lose-Lose" scenario whether it went according to their plan or not.
3-- Colin Kaepernick is who is he is, whether he is football player or not. And in my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that. It is frightening how many people claim to know what is going on his head and his decision making process. The only person who can know what he is thinking is him...period.
And finally---there is nothing wrong with being an activist for change and stating your beliefs despite what a frightening amount of people think. For Colin Kaepernick, really he doesn't NEED to be an NFL Football player to be an effective messenger for change any more. The guy is as widely known as he will ever be.
There is nothing he would gain or be able to change by going back to being a football player his platform would shrink to almost nothing in my opinion. I would like to think at this point, he is aware of his situation and how he can still be a highly effective advocate for change. All going back to the NFL would do at this point is dredge up things in the past---even if he signed somewhere and led a team to the playoffs his 1st season back it wouldn't change most people's opinion of the guy.
We now live in a world where people no longer are willing to even entertain the thought of compromise or middle ground and where beliefs have to adhere to some sort of idiotic political/partisan part line without deviation. And because of that, this guy is in a situation where he's been labeled something he may...or may not be and there is likely nothing he can do from this point forward that will be able to change it.
It's unfortunate because we all like to think we are willing to understand and forgive others for things they did that we don't always agree with---but I don't think that ever again is going to be a possibility. Which honestly is kind of depressing.
All that pontificating I just did is to reinforce my headline folks---and is the reason I said it. There is and was nothing good for anyone that was going to come out of the "Workout" before it happened and the chaos surrounding it while and after it happened is only going to deepen everyone's stance in their corner.
Which is why the "Event" should never have been scheduled...or happened in the first place.