It’s time we hear Colin Kaepernick speak up for himself.
What does Kaepernick want? Does he even still want to play football? And if he does, does he have terms and conditions before signing with any team?
Most quarterbacks with Kaepernick’s talent and resume come with terms and conditions that must be met before they sign — terms like a guaranteed opportunity to start, or a specific number in salary.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick speaks after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-20. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Well, which teams, if any, would Kaepernick absolutely consider or not consider joining? What’s the lowest amount of money he’s willing to be paid?
These are questions that need to be answered and, so far, we’ve heard everyone and their mama try to answer them—except Kaepernick.
The Baltimore Ravens have been on the hot seat since reports surfaced they were in discussions with Kaepernick on possibly signing the 29-year-old free agent quarterback. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had suffered a minor back injury at the time and was expected to miss a few weeks of action for precautionary reasons. Signing Kaepernick would have made sense for the Ravens if Kaepernick was willing to come in as a backup, just in case Flacco’s back issue lingers on throughout the season.
But was Kaepernick willing to sign with Baltimore, knowing he would only be used as an emergency backup? No one knows because he’s been silent for quite a while now.
Kaepernick’s supporters are starting to grow restless with the league’s owners and their lack of decisiveness. People want to know why is it taking the Ravens’ brass so long to determine whether or not they’re going to sign him.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome dismissed the idea that team owner Steve Bisciotti is nixing the signing of Kaepernick.
“We are going through a process, and we have not made a decision,” Newsome said in a statement released to the media. “Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making those claims is wrong.”
But it’s been at least two weeks since it was first reported that the Ravens were considering Kaepernick. How long is this process supposed to take? How long does it take to evaluate the talent of an athlete and figure out if and how he can fit on the team?
Baltimore has signed at least two no-name quarterbacks to the team since Flacco nicked his back, although both are considered no more than just a “camp arm” to throw passes to receivers during training camp. Neither quarterback is expected to make the 53-man roster for the upcoming regular season.
I doubt Kaepernick, who faced off against the Ravens as a starter in the Super Bowl just four years ago, would be interested in signing with them simply to serve as a camp arm. But I can’t even say that for certain. I need to hear Kaep say that himself.
There have been recent reports online that quote an unnamed NFL source saying Kaepernick has actually been offered a contract by one team, but he turned the job down to stir up more controversy in hopes of creating more offers for more money. The same unnamed source claimed Kaepernick is not willing to take backup quarterback money, nor anything near the league minimum salary of $900,000.
Of course, you can’t place much value in unnamed sources. That information is considered nothing more than gossip or rumors. You can, however, value information spoken directly from Kaepernick’s mouth, especially if the information pertains to his own personal desires for his life. And that’s why it’s important he speaks out soon.
He can have a press conference, or do an exclusive e-mail. He could even speak directly to the people, unedited and uncensored, via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. It doesn’t matter how Kaepernick does it, as long as he does it and does it soon. It may not necessarily land him a job back in the NFL, but at least we’d all know then, without a shadow of doubt, why he’s not on a team and who’s to blame.