It has been five years since Colin Kaepernick has taken an NFL snap. The former 49ers starting QB in the Super Bowl was seemingly blacklisted from the league for starting the trend of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial profiling and police brutality.
There’s no question his talent would have been welcome across the league under normal circumstances. And despite several teams being asked about the possibility of signing Kaepernick and many responses that suggested they weren’t opposed to the idea, no team would come close to him.
For that reason, when Mark Davis was asked a couple years ago about whether he would be open to giving Kaepernick a shot, his response saying he had given his blessing for it didn’t generate much in the way of headlines.
Just spoke w/#Raiders owner Mark Davis, who said team employees have a “company-paid day off on Juneteenth.” Also asked about @Kaepernick7, Davis said, “Since 2017, I’ve told the coaches and general managers that if they want to hire Colin Kaepernick, they have my blessing.”
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) June 17, 2020
Then just a month ago, Davis seemed to reiterate in somewhat stronger language his willingness to bring Kaepernick on board.
#Raiders owner Mark Davis last month: “I believe in Colin Kaepernick. He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in, I would welcome him with open arms.”
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 25, 2022
This response made some waves, but there is still a big difference between what Davis — or anyone for that matter — says the “would” do versus what they “will” do.
Still, with a whole new coaching staff and personnel department, it seemed a pretty clear message where he stands.
Now today, reports have the Raiders following through with their owner’s wishes and are giving Kaepernick a workout — something he has long sought, but rarely received.
It’s unclear whether Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler felt some pressure to give Kaepernick the shot Davis had wanted, or if they had been thinking about it already and his words gave them permission to pull the trigger. Regardless, there’s little doubt the Raiders are now proving Davis’s words were not same empty lip service we have heard from most around the NFL when Kaepernick’s name has come up.