Colin Kaepernick has opened the door to an NFL comeback more than five years after his last appearance, saying he “definitely” has the quality to improve teams.
The 34-year-old, who made 12 appearances as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback in his last NFL campaign in 2016, made headlines that year by choosing to kneel for the United States national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality.
Kaepernick has been out of the league since then, but trained in front of the NFL scouts during the University of Michigan’s spring game on Saturday.
Speaking to WXYZ Detroit, Kaepernick told potential suitors that he could help them improve, and said he wanted to talk to any franchisees that were interested.
“I can help make you a better team, I can help you win matches,” Kaepernick said.
“I know right now that the situation is probably not going to allow me to step in and get into the starting role. I know I’ll be able to work my way up to that, and show that very quickly.
“So, for teams that have questions, I’d say more than anything, I’d like to come for practice.
“I’d like to sit down with you and have that conversation about how I can help you be a better team.”
Kaepernick filed a legal complaint against the NFL in 2017, accusing franchise owners opposed to his political and social activism of colluding to keep him out of competition, with a settlement in the case reached two years later.
He has appeared in two playoff campaigns during his time in San Francisco and is adamant that he retains the quality required of an NFL quarterback as he looks to pique the interest of scouts.
“Sure,” Kaepernick replied when asked if he could still compete in the NFL.
“We can still go out there and shoot him. It was really getting out here today for the show to be able to show that I can do that.
“One of the questions my agent kept asking was ‘Well, it’s been five years. Can he still play? “.
“So we wanted to make sure we got out, and show everyone that I could still play, and still throw it.
“I’m really just looking for an opportunity to open the door, get a path to be able to get back out there, get an initial job and lead a team to the championship.”