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Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016, but he might have just gotten the endorsement he needed to return to the field. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently said he encourages a team to sign the former 49ers quarterback. Is this the development that will finally get Kaepernick signed?

Colin Kaepernick has been out of football for four years

The last time Colin Kaepernick suited up for an NFL team, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson weren’t even in the league yet. Mahomes was drafted in 2017 and Jackson debuted a year later. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016.

Kaepernick went 1-10 as the starter for the 49ers in his last season. He threw for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 468 yards and two touchdowns. However, his individual stats didn’t translate to team success. San Fransisco finished with the second-worst record in the entire NFL behind just the Cleveland Browns.

Despite leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl and an NFC Championship game in back-to-back seasons, Kaepernick wasn’t given a second chance with another team.

Kaepernick became one of the most polarizing figure in sports after his national anthem protests. No NFL team wanted to invite the media circus that would follow the QB. That could change soon thanks to Goodell’s recent endorsement.

Roger Goodell just encouraged an NFL team to sign Kaepernick

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on ESPN’s The Return of Sports special and spoke to Mike Greenberg Monday. During their conversation, Goodell said it’s time for Kaepernick to return to the league.

If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision. But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.
If his efforts are not on the field but continuing to work in this space, we welcome him to that table and to help us, guide us, help us make better decisions about the kinds of things that need to be done in the communities. We have invited him in before, and we want to make sure that everybody’s welcome at that table and trying to help us deal with some very complex, difficult issues that have been around for a long time.

Roger Goodell

Goodell‘s encouragement can go a long way. As the most powerful man in football, everything he says carries serious weight. Maybe this green light will push an NFL team on the fence into signing Kaepernick for the 2020 season.

Goodell has been vocal on racial injustice lately

With protests happening around the country focused on racial injustice in America, Goodell has been speaking up in support of black NFL players. The commissioner released a video earlier this month apologizing for the NFL’s role in not listening to them before.

On Monday, Goodell spoke out in support of Kaepernick’s protests.

What they were talking about and what they were protesting and what they were trying to bring attention to was playing out right in front of us — and tragically. And so all of us saw that, and it was difficult for all of us. And so that was an important point for all of us.

Roger Goodell

Goodell seems to have turned a corner in his view of Kaepernick. Now, it’s up to an NFL team to do the same and pull the trigger on the former NFC Championship-winning QB.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference