Saturday afternoon, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick held a workout at a local high school in Riverdale, Georgia in pursuit of landing another opportunity within the NFL. This showcase was initially supposed to take place at the Atlanta Falcons facility, but Kaepernick and his representatives changed the location prior to the start time.
With the sudden change in location and the added commute time, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of teams that could attend the workout. Instead of 20-plus, there were a reported eight that were present to watch Kaepernick throw the football to the gathered wide receivers. But which teams were present?
Initially, it was reported that the Buffalo Bills had made the way to the local high school to watch Kaepernick, but the New York-based team shut this belief down. In fact, ESPN reported that eight teams were in attendance but only confirmed seven by name. There was still a question about whether or not that eighth team had indeed made the way to Riverdale.
Of course, not all of the teams that attended Kaepernick's are in immediate need of a quarterback, but the scouts could be gathering information in case they need to make a change for the future.
(Photo Credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty)
Of the teams in attendance, the Tennessee Titans could be the best possible landing spot for Colin Kaepernick. Former first-round pick Marcus Mariota was benched in recent weeks and appears to have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. In his stead, former Miami Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill has been leading the offense.
Head coach Mike Vrabel could opt to continue riding with Tannehill into future seasons, but that would require negotiating a new contract. He is scheduled to be a free agent following the season. The Titans will continue to assess the quarterback position for the remainder of the season, and there could be an opportunity for Kaepernick depending on the play of Tannehill.
Of the teams in attendance for Saturday's workout, the Washington Redskins will be the one most in a state of flux this offseason. Former head coach Jay Gruden was fired midway through the year, and owner Daniel Snyder will be looking for his replacement. There is a potential franchise quarterback on the roster in Dwayne Haskins, but the former and interim head coach were both of the mindset that he isn't quite ready to be the full-time starter.
Depending on the identity of the coach that comes to town, Kaepernick could find an opportunity in Washington. The new decision-maker may want "his guy" to lead the way, or he could simply want to bring in a temporary placeholder while Haskins continues to grow. Either way, the first-round pick may not have a guaranteed starting role in 2020.
Despite having a very wealthy starting quarterback in Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles were in attendance for Kaepernick's workout. The team recently agreed to a four-year contract extension with the former second overall draft pick, which is worth up to $144 million and will keep him on the team through 2024. Why would they be examining Kaepernick?
One potential reason for gathering information about the former San Francisco 49ers QB is that Wentz has dealt with injuries. He missed the remainder of the 2017 season due to injury and was limited once again in 2018. Now healthy, Wentz has been available for every game this season, but the Eagles could consider bringing in someone with Kaepernick's experience for depth purposes.
Like most teams on this list, the Detroit Lions have an entrenched starter in Matthew Stafford. However, he is also in danger of missing up to six weeks with a back injury. Former Cincinnati Bengals backup Jeff Driskel is taking the starting snaps, but he has been unable to lead the Lions to victory in his two starts.
While it's unlikely that the Lions would offer Kaepernick a contract with mere weeks remaining in the schedule, they could opt to reexamine his status following the season. Kaepernick has considerable starting experience and could provide depth behind Stafford.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a defending league MVP on the roster in third-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and they don't plan on moving away from him anytime soon. However, the backup position is currently filled by journeyman backup Matt Moore. The 35-year-old was out of the league last year before joining the Chiefs, and he ultimately started two games in 2019.
Given that Moore will be a free agent once again at the end of the season, the Chiefs could think about adding Kaepernick prior to 2020. Head coach Andy Reid has found success with dual-threat quarterbacks in the past, such as Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, and he could find ways to get the former 49ers QB involved.
As a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, there is a possibility that a return to the fold could happen, but the Bay Area team has a very high-priced starter on the roster in Jimmy Garoppolo. The former New England Patriots backup is in the second season of his five-year, $137.5 million contract that he signed in 2018, and he has helped this team reach 9-1 on the season.
On paper, it's unlikely that Kaepernick would be given the opportunity to compete for a starting job in San Francisco based on Garoppolo's salary and his familiarity with Kyle Shanahan's offense. Still, the 49ers could potentially consider their former QB as a depth player or utility option for special offensive formations.
The New York Jets have a rising star in second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, but the depth on the roster is viewed as less-than-impressive. When the former first-round pick was sidelined due to a bout of mono, the Jets were forced to rely on both Trevor Siemian, who was placed on Injured Reserve with a leg/ankle injury, and Luke Falk, the latter of which struggled in his two starts.
The Jets have faith that Darnold will continue to grow as a passer and will be a trusted starter for years to come, but they may be looking to bolster the depth on the roster. Adding Kaepernick would give head coach Adam Gase a veteran with playoff and Super Bowl experience that could step in if needed.