Colin Kaepernick Says He’s Willing to Make NFL Return as a Backup: ‘Just Need That Opportunity’

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)

During a recent interview, former NFL quarterback turned social activist Colin Kaepernick said he’s ready to accept a backup role in the NFL if the opportunity presents itself. However, he wants a fair shot as a starter and thinks he can earn the spot if a team signed him to a contract.

The 34-year-old joined the I AM ATHLETE podcast, which is hosted by former NFL wide receivers Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall. In a rare interview, Colin Kaepernick opened up about a possible return to the gridiron. He’s continued to work out and stay in game-ready shape. He even took part in the Michigan Wolverines’ spring football game after head coach Jim Harbaugh invited him earlier this month.

Following a recent workout in Florida, Kaepernick spoke with the former NFL players turned podcast co-hosts. When speaking to Kaep about a possible return, Marshall asked if he’d be willing to take on a backup role. The former Denver Broncos WR compared Kaepernick’s situation to longtime NBA star Carmelo Anthony. Marshall referenced the fact that the future Hall of Famer joined the Los Angeles Lakers, but he accepted a backup role. Anthony signed for the veteran minimum for around $2.6 million and comes off the bench. According to Kaepernick, he’s more than willing to be a backup as long as he gets a fair shot at starting.

“I know I have to find my way back in. So, if I have to come in as a backup, that’s fine,” Colin Kaepernick said on the podcast. “But that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door.”

Colin Kaepernick Seen Working Out in Florida With Current NFL Players

It’s been six years now since Colin Kaepernick last played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. Of course, the former QB’s relationship with the league has been rocky at best. He accused the NFL of blackballing him over his national anthem kneeling protests. Additionally, he filed a lawsuit that alleges team owners colluded against him to keep him out of the league. The NFL settled the lawsuit in early 2019, but more than three years later Kaepernick hasn’t garnered any interest from teams.

In fact, the only interest he received dates back to five years ago when the Seattle Seahawks brought him in for a workout. Kaepernick left that visit without a contract though and no other teams have shown any real interest. However, he hasn’t given up and has continued to hone his skills as he seeks another NFL opportunity.

Just last week, previous to his podcast appearance, cameras captured Colin Kaepernick in Weston, Florida working out at the House of Athlete. Cleveland Browns wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Jakeem Grant, and tight end David Njoku caught passes from Kaepernick during the workout. Cameras also captured the podcast co-hosts alongside former QB Michael Vick at the practice facilities as they watched Kaepernick throw.

It was the second time this month that Kaepernick was in the public eye showing off his arm. NFL scouts attended the aforementioned Michigan spring game on April 2. That was the second time he threw in front of scouts since hitting free agency in 2017. Following Michigan’s spring day, the quarterback reiterated that he “absolutely” still has the talent to play in the NFL. Whether or not teams in the league agree is another matter.