Well, the NFL is doing what it can to make itself look like a league that isn’t blackballing Colin Kaepernick. They’ve set up a private workout this Saturday in Atlanta for Kaepernick to show off his skills. All NFL teams are welcomed to send in reps to watch.
Sounds like a good and favorable thing for Kaepernick, right?
Well, not exactly. In fact, the whole thing smelled fishy from the beginning. We’re close to three seasons since Kaepernick was last in the NFL and now the NFL wants to help him out? Sure, there was that whole lawsuit issue but surely that meant that was in the past and the present is now, right? They’ve made peace and moved on, right?
- There was no heads up on this workout to anyone. Even Kaepernick’s reps were blindsided by this workout announcement.
- Kaepernick had two hours to accept the NFL’s offer to do this workout at this specific time and place.
- Most workouts in the NFL happen on a Tuesday. Having it on a Saturday is an inconvenient time for all NFL teams as personnel and reps are preparing for Sunday’s games. Kaepernick was denied the request of moving the workout to a more convenient time for everyone.
- Who will run the workout? No such information has been established.
It is very odd that Kaepernick was blindsided and forced into a situation where he had to accept this private workout offer with only a few days of preparation. Kaepernick has said that he has been working out in the two years, eight months since he has become a free agent so this isn’t a major hurdle for him. But it still shows how the NFL is treating him and this workout as merely an afterthought.
Why now? Why only giving him a two-hour window to accept this offer? Why so sudden and out of nowhere?
It’s very clear that the NFL wants to control the narrative. The PR department is sick and tired of looking bad when guys like Mitchell Trubisky is still starting in the NFL when they know Kaepernick is more talented and has a better record of success than he does.
If Kaepernick doesn’t accept, then the NFL can say that he refused the opportunity and his unemployment is his fault. This left Kaepernick no choice but to accept it as is. There would be no chance for him to modify the times and setting because it would make him look like someone who wants to control the narrative. Only the NFL can be in control.
All 32 teams will send a rep (likely some lowly pro scout because all the other important people would be busy on a Saturday) just so all 32 teams can say they did their due diligence and aren’t intentionally blackballing Kapernick. It’s the bare minimum effort that ticks off the box.
Once again, the NFL wants to control the narrative and just get this over with. The NFL’s hope is that if nobody signs Kaepernick after this, they can wash their hands clean of him. If an NFL team does sign him, then they can go with the narrative that blackballing was never a thing. Either way, the NFL looks good out of all this.
But we can see through this. Everything about this just doesn’t feel right. And the only way that the NFL doesn’t win is that Kaepernick signs with a team and has tremendous success as a starter.
The NFL hopes that doesn’t happen. It would make everyone question the league, general managers, owners and all head coaches once again as to why such a talent was left off their radars for nearly three seasons. That would be another PR nightmare.
And how can the NFL avoid that? Set up a workout scenario (by ambush) that would give Kaepernick the biggest disadvantage possible. In their mind, there is no way he can come out looking good from all this.
The set up is for Kaepernick to fail. There’s a slim chance that Kaepernick can shine well enough for all teams to see. That’s what we await for this Saturday.