More than five years after his last appearance in an NFL game, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has landed a workout with the Las Vegas Raiders, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
Kaepernick’s practice took place in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
ESPN first reported that Kaepernick, 34, was scheduled to train with the team.
The practice is Kaepernick’s first with an NFL team since his absence from the league began after the 2016 season. That year, he began kneeling during the national anthem before games in protest against police brutality and racial inequality. He then filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, alleging his owners were conspiring to keep him out of the league. He and his former teammate Eric Reid have settled their respective grievances.
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In the years since, and especially in recent months, Kaepernick has spoken about his fitness and trained publicly in an effort to garner interest from NFL teams. He was honorary captain in Michigan’s spring football game in April, pitching to receivers at halftime. (Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh coached Kaepernick in San Francisco.)
Kaepernick later told a Detroit television station that he was simply looking for “an opportunity, a door to open” with an NFL team.
“(I) can still come out, throw it,” Kaepernick told WXYZ Channel 7. “Really, coming out here today for exposure was about being able to show that I can do it. Because one of the questions that my agent kept thinking, ‘Well, it’s been 5 years, can he still play?’ We wanted to make sure that we came out, we showed everyone that I can still play, still throw it.”
It’s worth noting that the Raiders were the first team in years to offer Kaepernick a workout, given recent public statements from their owner, Mark Davis.
In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area late last month, Davis said Kaepernick “deserves every chance in the world to be a quarterback in the National Football League.”
“I still stand by it,” Davis said. “If our coaches and our general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback for this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”
Earlier in May, the Raiders traded for Jarrett Stidham to compete with Nick Mullens and rookie Chase Garbers for back-up work behind starter Derek Carr.
A second-round draft pick from Nevada, Kaepernick started 58 games for the 49ers from 2011-2016 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season. He threw for over 12,000 yards in his career in the NFL, with 72 career touchdown passes.
Contributor: Tyler Dragon
Contact Tom Schad at email@example.com or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.