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According to the latest reports, unclaimed quarterback Colin Kaepernick has requested a salary of $20M or more in return for his services to the Alliance of American Football. The AAF kicked off its debut season this month, but Kaepernick will likely stay away for the time being.
This begs the question: How many teams have been rumored to have interest in Kaepernick? Is he truly being “blackballed” by the NFL, or have his standards exceeded his expectations?
Denver Broncos (April 2016)
According to sources, Colin Kaepernick was willing to take a pay cut in order to play for the Denver Broncos, but not enough to please the then-reigning Super Bowl champions. At the time, Kaepernick was still under contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
By accepting the Broncos offer of $14M over the 2016 and 2017 season, it would have cost Kaepernick a total of $28.6M to get back onto the football field.
The two sides met, but never made enough progress. In August, owner John Elway spoke to the media regarding Colin Kaepernick:
“I said this a while ago: Colin had his chance to be here,” Elway said. “We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it.”
Baltimore Ravens (August 2017)
After Colin Kaepernick’s alleged “blackballing” by the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens considered him as a valuable sidepiece to Joe Flacco. However, Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa, made a rather unsettling tweet directed towards Baltimore Ravens great Ray Lewis.
In result, Lewis claimed in an interview that his girlfriend’s actions played a role in the front office passing on the social activist. Lewis stated the following on Inside The NFL back in early September:
“When me and Steve Bisciotti were talking, this is what we were talking about. We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League. Look, this is what I wanted to share with people. I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has … I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it.
“Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’
Seattle Seahawks (April 2018)
There was a large gap between emerging suitors for Colin Kaepernick, but the Seattle Seahawks eventually brought him in for an interview and workout. With the meeting planned for roughly 2 weeks, the media gave Kaepernick the opportunity to explain whether his absence from the NFL has persuaded him to reconsider his stance on kneeling during the National Anthem. He refused to answer at the time.
The Seattle Seahawks proceeded to postpone their workout with Kaepernick after his lack of clarity regarding the anthem.
One month later, Kaepernick and the Seahawks finally met, and were reportedly impressed. However, head coach Pete Carroll explained why the two sides didn’t reach an agreement.
“We have a starter, but he is a starter in this league and I can’t imagine somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”
Washington Redskins (December 2018)
After Alex Smith and Colt McCoy both suffered season-ending leg injuries, the Washington Redskins briefly discussed bringing in Colin Kaepernick to finish out the season.
Following the McCoy injury, the Redskins had lost 4 of their last 5 games, and claimed that not signing Kaepernick was purely due to football reasoning. Head coach Jay Gruden stated the following:
“It’s just going to be a matter of which way do we want to go?” Gruden said. “Do we want to go with a guy that’s familiar with my terminology who we worked out last week . . . or go with a guy and teach, basically, a whole new kind of offense with new offensive linemen with a lot of the zone reads and all that stuff. Not a lot of time to really get a brand new quarterback, a new system installed and taught in a couple days of practice.”
The Redskins proceeded with Josh Johnson, who finished the year with a record of 1-3. In terms of passing statistics, Johnson totaled 590 passing yards, 3 TD, and 4 INT. Would Kaepernick have made Washington a bit more competitive in the home stretch of the 2018 season?
Alliance of American Football (February 2019)
As stated previously, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) kicked off on February 9th, and reportedly attempted to reach out to Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick about participating.
With 7 games left on the regular season schedule, Kaepernick reportedly requested a minimum salary of $20M in order suit up. To place that astronomical figure into perspective, each AAF player is signed under a 3-year, non-guaranteed $250,000 deal, regardless of talent.
Colin Kaepernick won’t be a part of the AAF anytime soon, and likely won’t see his opportunity on the NFL field either. Regardless of whether we blame Roger Goodell, NFL owners, or perhaps Kaepernick’s arrogance, all parties are liable to blame.
Featured Image: XGames