Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent as the NFL preseason is underway and the NFL Players Association is ready to help the six-year pro find a new job after opting out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.
Speculation around Kaepernick remaining unsigned has centered around his national anthem protest from last season, though he’s said he would not continue to take a knee during the national anthem this season.
“We’ve been in contact with Colin’s representatives, and we’ve let them know that we’re there and ready to help with whatever they’d like — whether it’s just some guidance on P.R. or whatever,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said to Deadspin on Saturday. “I know they’ve chosen to lay low, and I respect that. Every player has to make a decision on how they want the union’s help, and I completely understand that, and that’s fine. The union’s always stood ready to help him in any way that we need to.”
Kaepernick was recently passed up when quarterback openings arose with the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins. Baltimore elected to bring on Arena League quarterback David Olson while the Dolphins went with Jay Cutler. The Ravens also conducted a fan poll to see whether the team should bring on Kaepernick.
“You definitely get that feeling [that he’s being blackballed] — obviously, that’s very hard to prove and it’s very hard to show,” Winston added. “But, at the same time, for Christ’s sakes, you have an owner out there publicly saying, ‘I’m polling fans to decide whether I should have this guy on my team or not.’ It’s obvious that owners are scared of it, are worried about it.”