By Jarrett Bell- Colin Kaepernick may be a step closer to an NFL return as at least one team – the Los Angeles Chargers – is considering the exiled quarterback as a potential option.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn revealed Wednesday that Kaepernick would likely be on the team’s “workout list” of players that could be signed as free agents.
“He fits the style of quarterback that we want,” Lynn said during a Zoom conference with media. “We’re happy with the three quarterbacks that we have, but you can’t have enough on the runway.”
Lynn added that he hasn’t spoken to Kaepernick and that a workout hasn’t been scheduled. Every NFL team routinely brings in players while constantly tweaking their rosters, but of course Kaepernick – who hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season after launching a protest movement aimed to raise awareness about policy brutality and other social inequities that afflict people of color – isn’t just any free agent.
Lynn has maintained he believes Kaepernick should have a job in the NFL as a starting or backup quarterback, and he strongly reiterated that message on Wednesday – on the heels of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraging teams to consider signing Kaepernick.
“It would be really nice to see him back in the league,” Lynn said.
The Chargers are not the “mystery” team that Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last Thursday had inquired about Kaepernick, Lynn added. Seattle is the only NFL team that has brought Kaepernick in for a visit during his three years out of the league.
The coronavirus pandemic could be a factor, Lynn reasoned, given that teams will need solid contingency plans to cover themselves for the uncertainty of how the virus could affect active rosters.
In the Chargers’ case, the quarterback depth chart is headed by Tyrod Taylor (who has had mixed results during his nine-year NFL career), followed by first-round rookie Justin Herbert and second-year pro Easton Stick.
Naturally, a big question that any team would need to answer about Kaepernick during a workout: Can he regain top physical form after a three-year layoff?
“You can figure that out real quick, where he is,” Lynn said.
Lynn added that another key element of a Kaepernick visit would be to assess the quarterback’s commitment to football – although he seems unconcerned at this point that Kaepernick’s activism would be a problem.
It’s apparent, though, that Kaepernick wants to play.
When USA TODAY Sports asked Kaepernick that very question during an interview in February, he didn’t flinch.
“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told USA TODAY Sports. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So, I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.”
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