Roger Goodell Tells Teams To Sign Colin Kaepernick
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has explicitly told teams to go out and sign Colin Kaepernick.
Goodell made the surprising admission earlier this week, during a conversation with Mike Tirico on NBC.
Specifically, Tirico pressed the NFL Commissioner on whether any owners had come out and asked him for advice on how to handle potentially bringing Kaepernick onto their rosters.
“That conversation has happened many times and I’ve encouraged them to do that. . . . We had a tryout where 26 clubs came to watch him try out last year and so that was the kind of effort to sort of say, ‘Listen, if you want to continue your career, here’s the opportunity.’
“Those are decisions that each individual owner has to make, and their club, their coaches, their General Manager. And I’ve talked to a lot of our clubs about it. And so I’d encourage them, and I’d love to see him play again.”
This falls in line with what Goodell previously said to Peter King.
“I’ve encouraged teams to evaluate that and sign him if they feel that’s the case,” he said.
“I’m happy if Kaep gets an opportunity but that’s, you know . . . Teams don’t usually ask me for advice on football hires.”
ESPN seems pretty confident. https://t.co/KsbCAPVFmB
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 11, 2020
What makes Goodell’s sudden reversal as it pertains to Kaepernick so odd is the fact that he is largely responsible for Kaepernick being out of the league.
When Kaepernick began protesting during the National Anthem back in 2016, if Goodell had publicly embraced him the way he has decided to now, there is a good chance the protests would have become as normalized they’ve clearly become in 2020.
And if they were normalized, at least one NFL team likely would have taken a chance on Kaepernick. Maybe not in a starting capacity, but at least as a second or third stringer.
Instead, Goodell took a fairly strong stance against Kaepernick and his actions – leading to something of a cold war between the two parties over the past four years.
Now, Kaepernick’s prolonged time outside of the NFL has all but killed any possible shot of him ever returning. It has simply been too long at this point.
It’s not just the NBA’s ratings. https://t.co/fOqMlhw8no
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 11, 2020
Last week, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk confirmed that despite a lot of big talk from the likes of Anthony Lynn and Pete Carroll regarding Kaepernick possibly still having a spot waiting for him somewhere in the NFL, nobody has actually called to request his services.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there was some ‘fake’ interest expressed immediately after [George] Floyd’s death, seemingly out of guilt,” he said.
“There has been zero interest expressed as to Kaepernick ‘in months.’”
Goodell also recently suggested that he would be interested in working with Kaepernick off the field as well.
We all know what’s been going on with the NBA’s ratings. Now we know why. https://t.co/M9uOeWOpqN
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 8, 2020
“If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities,” he said.
“We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.”
To date, neither the league nor Kaepernick’s team has indicated that they are anywhere close to any sort of agreement to work with one another off the field.
All in all, despite Goodell’s sharp reversal on the subject, it doesn’t appear as though anything has actually changed in any a meaningful way.
Kaepernick is still out of the NFL – and that will continue to be the case going forward.