Dark Horse Colin Kaepernick Destinations Following NFL Scheduled Workout
By Dan Israeli
After it was reported earlier in the week, Colin Kaepernick will indeed workout in front of NFL team representatives on Saturday in Atlanta, in his quest to make a comeback to the professional football field.
While it's hard to imagine a team signing Kaepernick this late into the season, anything is possible with several teams still in the playoff hunt. Team scouts will more likely be present to consider Kaepernick for the future, which should ultimately determine if he makes his return to the NFL by the start of the 2020 season.
With that said, here are five dark horse teams who could potentially sign Kaepernick, at some point, following his Saturday workout.
5. Detroit Lions
When considering teams that would take a chance on Kaepernick as early as this season, the Detroit Lions come to mind. At 3-5-1, with a sliver of playoff hopes remaining, the Lions will be without Matthew Stafford for the second straight week, due to a fractured vertebrae. It's uncertain how long Stafford will be out, with what sounds like a very serious injury, but Jeff Driskel may not be the option in his absence. Kaepernick would provide the Lions with more insurance at the position, and could potentially start if Stafford's injury shelves him for the remainder of the season.
4. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have not been able to figure out their QB conundrum since Peyton Manning's departure after the 2015 season. While Drew Lock was drafted in 2019 to be the future of the position in Denver, he has been on the shelf all season with a thumb injury and is no sure bet to assume the role when healthy. Brandon Allen was solid in his first start, a win against the Cleveland Browns, but is a low-upside option as a future NFL QB. It's unclear what John Elway thinks of his current QB stable, but Kaepernick would easily jump in to a position battle at training camp next year if he is able to impress the Broncos' brass during his workout.
3. Washington Redskins
Similar to the Broncos, the Washington Redskins have a middling veteran (Case Keenum) and an unproven rookie (Dwayne Haskins) currently employed at the QB position. While the jury is still out on Haskins, his development has been slow, and may take additional years if he ever pans out at all. The Redskins have been a controversial franchise for many reasons, and could make headlines with a cultural shift if they decide to take on Kaepernick. The team thrived in the past with a mobile quarterback, during Robert Griffin III's brief stint of success. It would surely be interesting to see Kaepernick playing in our nation's capital, considering his not-so-warm relationship with the current commander in chief.
2. New England Patriots
One day, after all of the cockroaches have reached extinction, Tom Brady will hang up his football cleats for good. In that instance, they will need another option at QB, and if Jarrett Stidham is not the guy, perhaps Kaepernick will be. It would be a very interesting transition, from Brady to Kap, but Bill Belichick may just have the coaching savvy to extract the most out of Kaepernick at this stage in his career. Even if Brady goes on to play up until age 45, Kaepernick would make for a very intriguing backup, and is still just 32-years-old, which is pretty young for the modern-day veteran QB.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last but not least, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a very big decision on their hands this offseason regarding current QB Jameis Winston. The impending free agent has looked brilliant at times this season, but has failed to improve his turnover-prone nature, as he leads the NFL with 14 interceptions to go with four lost fumbles. If the Bucs decide to part ways with Winston, Kaepernick could definitely enter the conversation as a training camp hopeful to start at the position next season. And even if the Bucs re-sign Winston, Kap could make sense as a very intriguing backup option, if teams no longer view the former San Francisco 49er as a starting caliber QB.
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