Colin Kaepernick announced just as he was becoming a free agent that he will no longer get on one knee for the playing of the national anthem, but reports from the combine say that he may have to get down on both knees to beg for a job and even that won’t help.
Front office execs were very uncomplimentary in 2016 and it appears that 2017 is shaping up to be more of the same. In fact, many of the players at the combine have been asked if they agreed with Kaepernick and whether they would copy him once they are in the NFL. Apparently teams are gunshy after the boycott hit them so hard last year and created a public relations nightmare.
“I don’t want him anywhere near my team,” one front office executive told Freeman. “He’s a traitor.”
“He has no respect for our country,” another team executive said.
“In my career, I have never seen a guy so hated by front office guys as Kaepernick,” declared one general manager. And let’s not forget that the NFL has had more than its share of dubious characters walk onto a football field.
It’s pretty clear that Kaepernick and his agents were hoping for an upswell of support after announcing his desire to stand during the anthem. Based on the general mood at the combine, it clearly isn’t working.
Perhaps the most damning sign for Kaepernick is the market chatter. This is an offseason in which some teams are so starved for competent quarterback play that Tampa Bay backup Mike Glennon is garnering interest that could net him $14 million to $15 million annually. Mike Glennon! And yet no team or dollar figure is being attached to Kaepernick. The fact that his stock has fallen below that of a Glennon shows just how damaging his anthem protests were in the eyes of NFL executives.
So will Kaepernick get signed this offseason? Most likely. There are too many teams bereft of talent at the quarterback position with too much money to spend. But the fact that Kaepernick can’t generate buzz with that market speaks volumes about what the NFL thinks of him right now. Quarterbacks like Brian Hoyer and Glennon are getting talked about before Kaepernick. If that doesn’t open his eyes, nothing will.