Colin Kaepernick is conducting his first workout with an NFL team since 2017, taking the field for the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, two sources close to the former NFL quarterback told Yahoo Sports.
The move comes one month after Raiders owner Mark Davis expressed a willingness to bring Kaepernick in for a look, despite the quarterback not having played in the league since the 2016 season.
A few things on the Kaepernick workout: I'm told it is indeed scheduled for today and the #Raiders had discussed it for a while and put the wheels in motion on Monday. And it's a legit look. Not something cursory or owner Mark Davis thumbing his nose at the #NFL over Jon Gruden.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) May 25, 2022
“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis told NBC Sports Bay Area last month. “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 or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the planned workout.
Last month wasn’t the first time Davis entertained the idea of the Raiders working out Kaepernick. He also told ESPN in 2020 that if his coach or general manager wanted to take a look at the QB, he would be on board. Davis has maintained a close relationship with one of Kaepernick’s biggest advocates in football: University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who drafted Kaepernick in 2011 and coached him until Harbaugh left the franchise in 2014. Davis and Harbaugh have remained close since Harbaugh was the quarterbacks coach for the Raiders in 2002 and 2003.
Talks to have Kaepernick in for a workout with the Raiders arose this week, sources said. He had been working out with a swath of NFL receivers this offseason, hoping for a chance to return to the league. He also threw at halftime of Michigan’s spring football game, in hopes of attracting a workout offer from an NFL team.
Now he’ll have it with the Raiders, who have established starter Derek Carr at the top of their quarterback depth chart. Kaepernick made it clear in recent interviews that he would be willing to start his NFL return as a backup, although he still maintains a goal of being a starter again.
“I know I have to find my way back in,” Kaepernick told the “I Am Athlete” podcast in April. “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.”
On Wednesday, he’ll get his biggest opportunity in the last five years.