The Colin Kaepernick saga continues, as the one-time San Francisco 49er seeks a new home for his brand of political theater.
In the 2017 offseason, Kaepernick has watched team after team take a “hard pass” — but not from the disgruntled quarterback. Is it discrimination from NFL owners keeping him down, or are his on-the-field politics to blame?
Alas, the quarterback is said to have opted to continue the narrative of his Black Lives Matter-fueled protest. According to the Daily Caller:
Despite the ongoing narrative that Kaepernick’s very public political views are preventing any NFL teams from offering him a roster spot, TheDC’s source claims Kaep himself has turned down at least one contract in the hopes of stirring up a media frenzy that eventually leads to a more lucrative deal for the 27-year-old vet.
Kaepernick allegedly doesn’t want to make “backup money” and specifically instructed his representative team not to sign one contract offered at the league’s minimum rate of $900,000 per year for a seventh-year player.
“Colin thinks he’s fighting a much higher battle than he is,” the source stated, according to the Daily Caller. “He views himself as a race messiah.”
There is no outside corroboration from sports media sources that Kaepernick turned down a contract, nor does the report state an NFL team that could be contacted to confirm the story.
There is also no confirmation of the motive Kaepernick might have for turning down an NFL contract for the league minimum of his veteran status: $900,000 a year.Joe Robbins/Getty Images
For some context, Kaepernick was believed to have inked a “record” $126 million contract after appearing in the Super Bowl in 2013. It was believed at that point that “the future [was] bright” for the 49ers signal-caller.
It turned out his NFL contract wasn’t all that and a bag of chips (well, maybe stale Doritos), as the structure of his contract and following year performances projected Kaepernick to make a total of around $25 million.
As Business Insider points out, Kaep received a signing bonus of $12.3 million but a salary of $645,000 in 2014. Due to performance incentives and Kaepernick’s on-the-field inability to live up to them, his salary would have been shrinking by $2 million a year.
In 2017, the one-time 49ers quarterback opted out of his contract and dove head first into free agency. So far, it’s been a kiddie pool with very shallow water.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Speculation has run rampant about why NFL teams haven’t lined up to snatch him. ESPN is breathless with its coverage of Kaepernick and relentless in its berating of NFL teams for not signing the QB.
The hapless New York Jets opted instead for 38-year-old journeyman quarterback Josh McCown despite having a dumpster-fire quarterback situation, and the Miami Dolphins decided to drag perennial problem child Jay Cutler back out of retirement before signing Kaepernick.
The Ravens were believed to have been in the market for Kaepernick’s service, but an agitated fan base, as well as outrageous statements from his girlfriend, Nessa Diab, comparing the team owner to a slave master, proved not very helpful in his job search.
Whether Kaepernick and his girlfriend turned down a league-minimum deal and are riding the grievance train to a more lucrative deal remains to be seen.
One thing is known: Colin Kaepernick is considered too high-risk and too low-reward for many NFL owners. And the quarterback’s ability to command a high salary in the league is deteriorating by the day.