The workout Colin Kaepernick in Atlanta on Saturday got a lot of people talking. The controversial quarterback was offered a chance by the NFL to return to the game by setting up a platform where 25 clubs can look at his condition and determine whether he’s worthy of being signed as a backup quarterback.
However, the entire affair ended up being a mess that saw the former San Francisco pass caller to move the tryout to a stadium outside the Atlanta Falcons facility. Plenty of fans and pundits called him out for selfish behavior. Even Stephen A. Smith called his actions as those of a martyr and not of a football player.
However, is that really the case? From a football standpoint, was what Colin Kaepernick did the wrong thing to do? This piece will take a daring stand and say that his decision to move the tryout to a place where he can be seen by as many people as possible is a good move for him careerwise.
First of all, this allows Kap to take control of his narrative and not be at the mercy of the league. There’s a general air of mistrust between Kap and the NFL, so it’s unbearable for him that the NFL hasn’t given him anything to work on in the days leading up to the tryout. By moving the venue, he has some semblance of control. He experienced heavy blackballing during the year that he kneeled, so the last thing he wanted to do is allow the league to have control over him.
The second reason why Kaepernick’s camp made the right call for their team is the amount of media exposure he got from it. The NFL strictly made the workout private and didn’t allow any media outlets to see how he’s performed so far. There were allegations that Nike wanted to get footage for their coming ad campaign, something the shoe giant vehemently denied.
By holding the audition in a public space, everyone who was even slightly interested in the Kaepernick saga got to see how the 32-year-old still got it. He managed to show off his accuracy and range during the 40-minute session. It puts the ball in the NFL’s court because it’s clear that he can play better than many of the league’s quarterbacks under its employ. He couldn’t have that leverage with the NFL’s private workout.
Finally, it helped weed out which teams weren’t just providing lip service and were actually interested in what Kap had to offer. The league initially reported that there were 25 teams that showed up to see him play. Of those 25, seven bothered to move to where he is and see his condition.
Thanks to this move, he’s aware that the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, and San Francisco 49ers could sign him if they get over all of the non-football noise he’s making.
The decision to move the venue of the tryout may have made his NFL comeback a lot more difficult, but it’s just consistent with his brand as a player and a person. He did what was best for him, and his mistrust of the league forced him to change it three hours before the scheduled audition.
Whether an NFL team takes a gamble on him is an entirely different matter, however.