Colin Kaepernick‘s name has again risen to the top of relevancy after the latest instance of social injustice faced with George Floyd’s death nearly two weeks ago. It has created a strong push for change with several prominent NFL players at the forefront of the effort looking for change in the justice system and the NFL’s structure. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been seemingly held out of the league over the last few years. However, former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson has voiced that he wanted Kaepernick to join the franchise.
Colin Kaepernick’s NFL future
Since Colin Kaepernick elected to opt-out of his contract with the 49ers after the 2016 season, he remains in the open market.
There has been an overriding assumption that Kaepernick’s addition would be a distraction for the team that signs him. It doesn’t have to do with his talent on the field, but more so the media attention he would receive due to his strong stance toward social injustice and kneeling during the national anthem.
That alone has kept him on the outside looking in for his NFL future despite his known desire to continue playing football. Much has been said about the last few years, Kaepernick has remained without a new team, which another wrinkle was recently added.
Hue Jackson wanted Colin Kaepernick on the Browns
Following his exit from the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick was available for any team to make a strong push to acquire.
During a recent interview on The Really Big Show on WKNR AM-850 with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer, former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson voiced that he wanted to sign Kaepernick in the 2017 offseason. (H/T The News-Herald)
“I wanted him,” Jackson said. “It just didn’t work out. Obviously, those things do have to work from a finance, draft, whatever all that is. And that wasn’t my decision.
The Browns were coming off a disastrous 2016 season that saw them finish with a 1-15 record. The franchise had initially hoped that Robert Griffin III could have a career resurgence, but that was quickly ended due to a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, the team relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown to lead the charge under center.
Kaepernick would have been a significant upgrade at the position, but it’s hard to believe that he would have a keen interest in joining a team that was coming off winning one game. The Browns also hold the reputation as being one of the most dysfunctional teams in the league.
Beyond the Browns being open to pursuing Kaepernick, it would have been quite challenging to sell him to join a team that was far from being a playoff-caliber roster.
Will Colin Kaepernick get another chance for an NFL return?
The current atmosphere that the United States has entered concerning protests and push for change has opened the door to many other industries being impacted by the movement.
That has seen the NFL being among those businesses as the league is fueled by primarily black athletes with their most prominent stars such as Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas, Saquon Barkley, and Tyrann Mathieu, all pushing for change. It should force the rest of the league to move past the previous stance toward kneeling during the national anthem has never had any connection with the flag or disrespecting it in any manner.
The hope is that it will open the door to Colin Kaepernick getting another shot at an NFL Comeback, but it all comes down to actions speaking louder than words. Kaepernick has the talent level that belongs in the league; it’s a matter of him getting the opportunity.