The NFL threw a curveball at football fans, teams, and Colin Kaepernick Tuesday morning when it announced that a private workout was to take place Saturday in Atlanta.
Its purpose—to give the 32-year old Kaepernick a chance to prove he still has the physical tools needed to play the game. Teams will, of course, have concerns he may be more trouble than he is worth. But that is what the interview part of the workout is for.
While many have reacted to the news with skepticism, at least one person seems to think it is legitimate—ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. The outspoken analyst has gone as far as to say that Kaepernick is going to have a job in the NFL within the next two weeks:
But he could not be more wrong.
Since the announcement of the workout, the legitimacy of it has been under fire. Many believe that it is not on the up and up and have called it a sham. One of Kaepernick’s former teammates and a fellow protester, Eric Reid, has referred to it as a PR stunt:
How the NFL has behaved has raised several red flags as well. Why have the workout on a Saturday when most teams are going to be traveling or busy preparing for Sunday? How come they couldn’t provide teams or Kaepernick with more notice? Why not move it when Kaepernick’s people requested a move? Why not give him a list of who is going to attend ?
Several teams have said they will have representatives there, but several have also contacted Kaepernick’s reps to say they can’t make it . All the red flags have caused so much skepticism about the workout that NFL insider Adam Schefter doubts whether it will even take place:
There seem to be some valid concerns over why the NFL is holding the workout. Should it not happen, the only takeaways people will have are the league’s questionable motives and decisions. But even if it does happen, Kaepernick performs well, and he answers every question and concern with perfection, Stephen A. Smith is still wrong.
Colin Kaepernick will not be on an NFL roster this season.
At this point in the season, teams are not looking to add players that they may play next season. If they are looking for players, they are looking for guys that contribute right now. They want guys that can help them win games this year. That is the kind of player that will get a roster spot this late in the season.
Now, if he does have a perfect workout (and it will need to be flawless), some will argue that he could contribute right away. But he has not played football in nearly three years. The game moves too fast for anyone to come off the street and be productive immediately—especially quarterbacks.
Colin Kaepernick needs time to redevelop his timing with NFL-caliber receivers who are being defended by NFL-caliber defensive backs. He is going to need time to adjust to blocking schemes, pass rushes, and defensive reads. At best, he may be ready to do everything an NFL quarterback needs to do by next season. But only if he is on a roster for the entire offseason and attends all workouts.
Then teams will still have to get past his age. Who wants to invest in a quarterback in his early 30s who may or may not be any good – and will anger half of a fanbase just by being on the roster?