Kaepernick to Jets: I'm Your 'Risk-Free Contingency Plan'

Ex-49ers quarterback, now a free agent, says he'd lead team's practice squad if they'd let him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2023 9:35 AM CDT
With Jets Struggling, Kaepernick Looks to Get Back in the NFL
In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives for a workout for NFL football scouts and media in Riverdale, Georgia.   (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland, File)

The New York Jets are in a tough spot after their newest quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon during his debut for the team earlier this month. One notable name thinks they may have the solution to the Jets' current conundrum: Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback exiled after taking a knee for the national anthem during the 2016 season, when he played for the San Francisco 49ers. CNN reports that the free agent penned a letter last week to Jets GM Joe Douglas, with an interesting proposal that Kaepernick says can help fill the "Hall of Fame sized hole" created by Rodgers' absence.

In his letter to Douglas, posted with permission on Instagram by rapper J Cole, Kaepernick laments the "unfortunate loss" of Rodgers, then offers his own services to help the team out. "I would be honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad," the 35-year-old player pitches, adding that he'd do so with "the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week." He insists he wouldn't swoop in to steal any thunder from Zach Wilson, now the team's starting quarterback, but he concedes that his new role would give the Jets the chance "to take a real look at where I'm at football wise."

What that also means: "God forbid" Wilson, who's been struggling of late, should become incapacitated or otherwise unable to play at any point, Kaepernick—who notes he's continued training five days a week for the past six years—would serve as a "risk-free contingency plan," he writes, adding, "Worst case scenario, you see what I have to offer and you're not that impressed." As references, Kaepernick offered the names of a few of his former head coaches, including the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly.

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Sports Illustrated reports that Kaepernick's proposition comes after his agent was said to have contacted the Jets to feel them out on the possibility of Kaepernick joining the team. No NFL team has signed him since 2017, when he opted out of his 49ers contract and became a free agent. Supporters say he's been blackballed by the league. Kaepernick filed a grievance case against the NFL on that front that was settled in 2019. (More Colin Kaepernick stories.)

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