As Colin Kaepernick continues to prepare himself for a potential comeback in the NFL, the free-agent quarterback is looking for any opportunity to complete his return.
In a rare sit-down interview, Kaepernick said on the I AM ATHLETE YouTube channel that he’s willing to take on a backup QB role in the NFL in order to get his foot in the door.
“Yeah. I know I have to find my way back in,” Kaepernick said Monday. “So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup that’s fine, but that’s not where I’m staying. And when I prove that I’m a starter, I want to be able to step on the field as such. I just need that opportunity to walk through the door. “
Kaepernick, 34, recently worked out in front of NFL scouts during halftime at the University of Michigan’s spring game on April 2. The workout was assembled by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick in San Francisco through his first four years in the league from 2011 to 2014
The coach-QB duo helped take the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII in the 2012 season. The loss of that game still motivates Kaepernick nearly a decade later.
“I think more than anything it’s a passion,” Kaepernick said of his comeback attempt. “Like, you have those dreams from when you’re a kid. Like, I’m going to be an NFL player and I’m going to win a Super Bowl. And for me, I have unfinished business on that front. I ‘ve been to the Super Bowl; we were one play away. Well, I need to finish that. My mentality isn’t just to go out and compete. No, I want to win a championship. And I know that it may take different paths to get there, but I wholeheartedly believe I’m going to make that happen. “
In 69 career games, Kaepernick, a second-round pick in 2011, has thrown for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while adding 2,300 rushing yards and 13 TDs on the ground.
Kaepernick last suited up in the NFL in the 2016 season, during which he peacefully protested social injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick went unsigned the following offseason after becoming a free agent, and has since been steadily working toward another opportunity in the league.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged NFL teams to sign Kaepernick in the summer of 2020, but left the decision up to clubs to sign the free agent. The year prior, Kaepernick held an audition for interested teams in Atlanta.
Still, no team has signed the free-agent QB in five years, and after completing another workout ahead of his interview with former NFLers Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Adam “Pacman” Jones, Kaepernick said the long campaign for a potential return is evidence of his strong desire to play again.
“Absolutely. I mean, that’s without question,” Kaepernick said. “To your point, what you saw out here, that’s five years of training behind the scenes to make sure I’m ready and stay ready at the highest level. You don’t do that if you don’t have a passion or you don’t believe, you’re gonna find a way on that field. “