Colin Kaepernick landing spots: Five teams that could be interested following workout, and when he might sign
Kaepernick worked out in front of NFL teams on Saturday
On Tuesday, ESPN reported that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick . The session will include on-field work and an interview as well. All 32 clubs were invited to attend and video of the workout and interview will be made available to all clubs.
Saturday could end up being important for Kaepernick (CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora says ). If he is ever going to make a return to the NFL, this is his best shot. That's not to say that if Kaepernick doesn't get signed in the next month that he will never play football again, but teams may elect to wait until the offseason to make a decision about signing the 32-year-old signal-caller -- and they will refer back to what happens on Saturday before making a decision.
So, who would be interested in acquiring Kaepernick's services? Frankly, it's hard to say. There are teams that need immediate help when it comes to the quarterback position, there are teams that are unsure of the future when it comes to who will be taking snaps under center and then there are teams that may think Kaepernick is worth a roster spot as an insurance policy. Kaepernick has repeatedly maintained that he's football ready, and even posted a video on Twitter prior to this season that claimed he has been working out five days a week for the last three years.
Let's take a look at five teams who could be interested in acquiring Kaepernick's services.
This may be the most obvious landing spot for Kaepernick at this point. Despite having a top defense, the Bears have lost four out of their last five games, and former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky is struggling. He's thrown just eight touchdowns and three interceptions in eight games, and has passed for 1,390 yards, which ranks 26th in the NFL. Trubisky did throw three touchdowns in the Bears' 20-13 win over the Detroit Lions last Sunday, but a victory over a Jeff Driskel-led team with problems in the secondary is hardly enough to suppress the outrage in Chicago. He's missing open throws, the offense is struggling to move the ball and the 4-5 Bears are third in the NFC North. Trubisky is also 25 years old, and it's possible Chicago could make the decision to find a new quarterback this offseason if the Bears feel they are just a quarterback away from being a contender. Again, it's unlikely that Kaepernick will be signed and back on the field in Week 12, but he will be an option teams could consider this offseason.
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The winless Bengals Andy Dalton last week and give rookie Ryan Finley a shot. He showed potential in his first NFL start against the Baltimore Ravens, but passed for just 167 yards, one touchdown, one interception and also lost a fumble in the 49-13 loss. It appears that Dalton's time in Cincinnati is over, and first-year coach Zac Taylor is looking toward the future. The Bengals were in the conversation when it came to taking a quarterback with their No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 draft, but they instead elected to take former Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams, who tore his labrum before the season began. Finley was drafted in the fourth round, and has a tough road ahead of him when it comes to convincing the Bengals that they should stick with him under center in 2020. The Bengals again will have a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but it's not a sure thing that they will take a quarterback. They could elect to pass and instead draft a player who could come in and make an immediate impact like Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, and solve their quarterback issue in free agency by signing a leader like Kaepernick.32-year-old
Bill Belichick and the Patriots have become known for scooping up talent that has been on the outside looking in for whatever reason, and Kaepernick could be next. It's hard to imagine Tom Brady leaving this offseason, but La Canfora reported last month that if Brady does elect to leave, the Los Angeles Chargers . Brady's contract is structured to void in March, and he cannot be franchise tagged. It's worth noting that Brady and the Patriots structured it that way in order to provide extreme flexibility should a new collective bargaining agreement be finalized early in 2020, as many are anticipating, that could have new measures for computing the salary cap charges on quarterbacks and could have benefits for both team and player. It's also entirely possible that Brady could call it quits following this season, which means the Patriots would be in the business of finding their next starting quarterback. Kaepernick isn't considered someone who can lead a team into a new era, but he's a leader who could tutor Jarrett Stidham or a young quarterback New England drafts in a later round.
Cam Newton's time as a Panther has likely come to an end, and La Canfora reported last Sunday that Carolina's ownership even before his foot issue. The Panthers do have a capable quarterback in Kyle Allen, but is Carolina convinced that he's a legitimate starter and the best option moving forward? Allen has won five of seven starts this season and has thrown for 1,598 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. There's no doubt that he has had his moments, but has he proven that he can win games with his arm? The most important thing to note with the Panthers is that they have proven they aren't worried about negative reaction when it comes to signing a player regarded as a political activist. Carolina signed safety Eric Reid last year, who was one of the first players to join Kaepernick in the national anthem protests and is considered one of Kaepernick's best friends. The Panthers need a quarterback and there's no doubt Reid will be campaigning for his friend behind the scenes. A reunion between the two players could be possible.
The Titans are going to have to make some tough decisions in the near future. The franchise appeared to send a message to former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill in Week 6. Mariota had passed for just 1,179 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions in six games. He went 2-4 as a starter this year and struggled when it came to making decisions in the pocket and moving the chains. The Titans immediately received a spark when Tannehill was inserted into the starting lineup, and he has won three out of his first four starts. There's no doubt Tannehill is the right option for the Titans moving forward this year, but what about next year? Like Mariota, Tannehill will be a free agent. The Titans could end up re-signing Tannehill -- especially if he gets Tennessee to the postseason -- but what if the Titans go 3-3 to finish the year and end up with an 8-8 record? It's very possible the Titans will be searching for a new starting quarterback this offseason, and they could elect to draft a signal caller, or sign Kaepernick if they like what they see in Saturday's workout and want a veteran in the building.
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