Colin Kaepernick is not in the NFL and has not been previously available to players of EA Sports' Madden NFL franchise. Now that is changing following a major update by the video game's creators. The former San Francisco 49ers QB is now available in Madden NFL 21 for Franchise mode, providing the opportunity to reach the Super Bowl with the dual-threat player.
"Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback," the developer said in a statement. "The team at EA Sports, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game. We've had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and worked through our past soundtrack mistakes." The statement continued and explained that EA Sports wants to make Madden NFL a place that "reflects Kaepernick's position and talent" and that they rated him as a starting QB.
Welcome Back, Kap! pic.twitter.com/fmq6SkMAVf— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 8, 2020
"Starting today in Madden NFL 21, fans can put Colin Kaepernick at the helm of any NFL team in Franchise mode, as well as play with him in Play Now," the statement continued. "We look forward to seeing Colin on Madden NFL teams everywhere." Following the news, NFL fans headed to Madden to see the latest update and confirmed that Kaepernick is in the game. He sits at 81 overall, topping fellow quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, Josh Allen, Cam Newton and Kyler Murray.
The news of Kaepernick joining Madden NFL once again follows a report by Pro Football Talk about the former QB's future in the league. Mike Florio spoke to a source and learned that no teams have reached out to Kaepernick's agent about a possible contract. Reports previously surfaced in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of a now-fired Minneapolis police officer that several teams had expressed interest in Kaepernick.
According to Florio's source, there was "fake interest" expressed by NFL teams following Floyd's death. The source said that this was seemingly out of guilt and that there has been zero interest in months. This report is in contrast to previous statements about how NFL teams had contacted Kaepernick's "friends and associates" and that they would contact his agent. According to Florio, no teams ever actually contacted the agent.
With the season starting on Thursday with the kickoff game between Kansas City and Houston, it's unlikely that Kaepernick will suit up in 2020 barring a major change. Now, however, fans can at least envision how he would fare on their favorite team. He is free to join all 32 teams, albeit on a digital basis.