Could Colin Kaepernick find himself back in the NFL before the end of the month? That’s what his agent Mark Geragos claimed in a phone call into The Adam Carolla Show yesterday. Despite the debacle over the weekend with the league’s planned workout for the seemingly exiled activist, at least two teams have expressed interest in Kaepernick — including one whose current QB turned in a poor performance the very next day:
Geragos said he thinks that something will happen on this “within the next 10 days.”
He continued, saying, “There are two teams that I think are in the hunt. One who is legitimately in need of a quarterback who had a very poor showing on Sunday and has got an owner that I don’t think gives a s—.”
The second team he said is run by an owner who does care, but which is in the hunt and needs a quarterback.
The first team could be the Carolina Panthers. Kyle Allen is coming off his worst performance of the season and has taken a big step backward the past four games. He’s also one of the teams we’ve highlighted as being perfect for Kaepernick, because as Geragos pointed out, owner David Tepper is a different breed than most owners.
The Panthers make sense for three other reasons. First, their star QB Cam Newton looks like he may not be much of an option in the long term after absorbing a pounding over the last few years, especially since next year is the last on his contract. Second, Kaepernick’s friend and fellow activist Eric Reid plays for Carolina as its starting safety, getting a three-year contract with the Panthers after overcoming his own exile over the kneeling issue. Third, the Panthers are still in the hunt this year at least for a wild-card slot at 5-5, assuming they can find an effective QB (and a more effective O-line, which might dim Kaepernick’s enthusiasm for Carolina). Kaepernick could start for the Panthers rather than sit as a backup after a short learning curve and be in a playoff hunt.
But if what Geragos says is true, why didn’t Tepper sign Kaepernick on his own? He signed Reid, so the don’t-give-a-s*** factor was already in play. Surely nothing Tepper saw over the weekend made Kaepernick a more attractive option. Unless that pressure is coming from the league, Tepper has more reason to work out Kyle Allen’s issues and develop him further than he did on Friday.
NBC’s Pro Football Talk warns that Geragos has made similar claims before. Take this talk with at least a small grain of salt:
Chances remain that no one will be signing Kaepernick. In February, Geragos predicted that a team would sign him within two weeks. In September 2018, Geragos hinted that the Raiders and the Patriots were interested. In June 2018, Geragos promised big news that never came. A month earlier, Geragos said that someone was ready to “dime out the NFL.”
Given the history of checks that went uncashed, there’s good reason to disregard the latest Geragos prediction. Still, since it’s the first one he has made in nine months, we’re willing to consider it — and potentially to add it to the list the next time Geragos calls his shot.
Agents are paid to promote their clients, so it’s probably not that surprising that Geragos exaggerated the acute nature of previous interest. Or exaggerating the interest itself, either. Geragos gets paid by making a market for Kaepernick, which means forcing teams to consider whether they need to act now rather than wait for later. Still, PFT’s point is well taken — this might just be another marketing campaign for an unpopular product.
Speaking of unpopular, Kaepernick may have done more damage where it counts. Until now, his fellow NFL players have stood by him, but after Saturday’s stunt, some of that support may have peeled away. Dallas Cowboys superstar QB Dez Bryant went public with his unhappiness over Kaepernick’s PR stunts, pointing out in a series of tweets that Kaepernick only became an activist after getting benched:
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 20, 2019
Day1 as when he got drafted?… or when Trayvon martin was Gun downed? he was in the nfc championship or super Bowl that year if not mistaken or This started whenever he chose not to play ball because he wasn’t a starter? Just be a lil bit more specific.. https://t.co/DCG4EZhOxi
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) November 20, 2019
Ooof. Sounds like Kaepernick’s act is wearing thin. If the NFL arranged this tryout in order to build some goodwill with the players ahead of next year’s negotiations over the collective bargaining agreement, Kaepernick might have defused that issue already.