Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned now over a week into free agency, and there’s been no indication that he’s getting any sort of interest from teams in the market for quarterback help.
Coming off a season in which he overcame an otherwise disastrous San Francisco 49ers offense to demonstrate that he’s still more than capable of being effective, it’s particularly curious as to why teams aren’t giving him a chance.
The way one AFC general manager explained it to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, the list of reasons may include potential backlashes not only from fans, but from the President of the United States’ Twitter account.
He (Kaepernick) can still play at a high level. The problem is three things are happening with him. First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.
Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or (President Donald) Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.
Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did (kneeling for the national anthem). They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.
Kaepernick has been critical of Trump in the past, calling him “openly racist” during the presidential election.
Trump was later one of many public figures who took issue with Kaepernick electing to kneel during pregame national anthems as a form of protest.
“I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing,” Trump told The Dori Monson Show in August, according to Nathan McDermott of Buzzfeed. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it’s not gonna happen.”
Trump also suggested in October that the quarterback’s actions are one of the reasons the NFL’s television ratings were in decline.
Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just four interceptions while starting 11 of 12 appearances this past season.
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