When we learned last week that the NFL was setting up a private combine for Colin Kaepernick to strut his stuff in front of most of the NFL’s owners, I’ll confess that I had my doubts. Those questions were fairly well answered on Saturday, the appointed date for the big event. Representatives of 25 of the league’s teams gathered at the Atlanta Falcons training facility, ready for Kaepernick to show them what he’s got left in the tank and consider making him an offer.
Unfortunately for them, Kaepernick was nowhere to be seen. Only thirty minutes before the scheduled start time, he moved the event to a high school football field roughly sixty miles away. A few of the teams scrambled and managed to make it there, but most of them didn’t bother. And then the backlash began. (Daily Wire)
On Saturday, former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick dissed the NFL by skipping out on a tryout the organization setup for him, apparently because he wasn’t allowed to bring his own camera crew.
Instead, the anthem-kneeler setup his own workout where a bevy of reporters showed up.
Speaking to the press, Kaepernick blamed the NFL and their “lack of transparency” for his bailing on the tryout.
Kaepernick claimed that he refused to attend the agreed-upon combine because the NFL wanted him to sign a waiver and he couldn’t bring his own camera crew to film the workout. The waiver was the standard one that all players sign before attending every combine. The rules about filming NFL events are clear. But he wound up working out on his own anyway and sent the film to all of the teams.
Reactions to this sudden upheaval in the plans were mixed but mostly negative. A Twitter feud broke out between ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and long-time Kaepernick friend Eric Reid. Smith, for his part, posted a video rant where he declared that it was basically all over for Kaepernick and the guy just “doesn’t want to do the work.”
He doesn't want to play. pic.twitter.com/ZuSI1IVW9r
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 17, 2019
If you want to get the real flavor of how Kaepernick was handling himself, just check out this brief video from ABC News which includes some of the quarterback’s comments at the high school football field. His attitude and demeanor seem to speak volumes.
Given the number of starting quarterbacks who have been injured this season, with several out for the rest of the year, you’d think that Kaepernick would be well poised to land himself a contract and get back out on the field. But that assumes that he really wants to play and be part of the NFL instead of leading his own publicity campaign and making headlines instead of touchdowns.
If Kaepernick had simply shown up at the Falcons’ training facility and run all the drills, he very likely could have been starting for somebody inside of two weeks. But as things stand now, he’s likely dissolved any remaining goodwill on the part of the owners. Stephen A. Smith is probably right. This turkey may be cooked.