Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the decision to change the location of his private workout with less than an hour before it was scheduled to begin. The NFL had previously declined to allow any media or cameras into the workout, but Kaepernick wanted transparency.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that Kaepernick's camp had issues with the NFL's initial plan, including: problems with the type of waiver the NFL requested, the NFL's alleged refusal to allow Kaepernick's camp to tape the workout and the NFL's alleged refusal to allow the media to record the session. from representatives Ben Meiselas and Jeff Nalley on behalf of Kaepernick explaining their decision.
Minutes before Kaepernick's workout started at the Charles Drew High School in Riverdale, Georgia, the NFL released a statement responding to Kaepernick's decision:
We are disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. He informed us of that decision at 2:30 pm today along with the public.
Today's session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants – an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL. Twenty-five (25) clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout, shot by the Atlanta Falcons video crew. It is important to note the following:
- As stated above, more than three-fourths of NFL clubs were present for today's workout.
- The NFL made considerable effort to work cooperatively with Colin's representatives. We invited his agent to suggest questions for the interview. Yesterday, when Colin's representatives said he wanted to bring his own receivers to the workout, we agreed to the request. In addition, Coach Hue Jackson discussed with Colin's agent what drills would be run at the workout so that Colin would know what would be expected of him.
- Last night, when Nike, with Colin's approval, requested to shoot an ad featuring Colin and mentioning all the NFL teams present at the workout, we agreed to the request.
- On Wednesday, we sent Colin's representatives a standard liability waiver based on the waiver used by National Invitational Camp at all NFL Combines and by NFL clubs when trying out free agent players. At noon today, Colin's representatives sent a completely rewritten and insufficient waiver.
- We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew. We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media.
- We agreed to have Colin's representatives on the field while the workout was being conducted and to allow them to see how it was being recorded. We did so even though we have been clear from the beginning that this is private workout. As is typical with NFL Combines, one video crew was prepared to shoot and distribute video of the interview and workout. We confirmed with Colin's representatives that they would receive both the video that would be sent to all 32 clubs as well as the raw footage from the entire event, which is unprecedented.
The location Colin selected is more than an hour away from Flowery Branch.
We are grateful to the Falcons, who made available the club's first-class facility, along with athletic training, equipment, and communications staff to ensure that today's workout would occur under ideal conditions, to coaches Hue Jackson and Joe Philbin, who were prepared to run a workout that would allow Colin to demonstrate his skill level, and to Jeff Foster and the Combine staff for arranging for other players to participate and for managing the logistics of the workout.
Colin's decision has no effect on his status in the League. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club.
Kaepernick wanted media to be able to watch him perform and for anyone to be able to record the workout. Fans were even seen watching the workout from behind the high school field's gates.
More than 24 NFL teams were expected to attend the workout. It remains to be seen how many showed up to watch at the alternate location, but there were at least a few.