Yahoo Sports’ Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Yahoo Sports’ Columnist Shalise Manza Young discuss the significance of the Raiders asking quarterback Colin Kaepernick to work out. If the Raiders don’t sign Kaepernick, will this open up doors to other more quarterback needy teams? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: First and foremost, Colin Kaepernick--
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: Mm-hm. Did not expect to see that.
CHARLES ROBINSON: --has said, you know, hey, just want to work out. Spent all this time working with NFL wide receivers this offseason through Michigan-- halftime of Michigan's spring game. Mark Davis has said a couple of times-- the owner of the Raiders has said a couple of times that he would be open to having Kaepernick in for a workout if that's something that his coach and GM wanted and that he believed Kaepernick was a guy who should be in the NFL.
Well, he put his money where his mouth is, or at least his actions. And on Monday, they openned the lines of communication with Kaepernick's people and just said, hey, want to have you in. You know, want to do this on Wednesday.
This is-- it's going to be about football. This is real. Like, we're not doing-- this isn't going to be like some show.
We're not going to promote it. We want to have you in like a normal workout, like you're a free agent that we are considering in our quarterback room. And so Colin went in today.
It's going to be really interesting to see, you know, what develops. And even if it doesn't work out with the Raiders, I wonder if the lack of a backlash-- because I don't see any backlash-- if the lack of a backlash that I think some teams were afraid of might go, hey, nothing happened. Like, you know?
And there are a couple of teams, I mean, whose starters-- I don't know. I mean, they might even consider-- you know, I mean, look. You can't tell me that he can't go and at least compete in Seattle. You can't tell me you can't go in and maybe compete in Carolina.
And then from a backup situation, I mean, it could be a multitude of teams that could use him. So I think-- I just think there's an opportunity here that seeing how this goes, and if he doesn't end up with the Las Vegas Raiders, there could be a chance that this loosens things up for other teams to go, hey, you know what? It turns out this isn't a big deal after all.
Let's see what he's got. You know, yeah, it sucks that he's been out of league since 2016. But let's at least give this a run and see if there's something there.
And also, I will credit Kaepernick because he came out on the "I Am Athlete" podcast, and the people close to him-- it was interesting, even before this-- that I was talking to were saying, hey, he's willing to be a backup. He doesn't care. Like, he wants to come in.
He wants to be a backup. Sure, he wants to be a starter again someday. But he knows he's got-- he just needs a chance.
So if that chance is being third on the depth chart, cool. If that chance is being second on the depth chart, cool. Let's get in and get it rolling. So a positive, I think for him to at least get a look.
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: Well, I have to say it was a little surprising to see that it was Josh McDaniels--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: --who was the one that broke the seal. I think obviously, there's not a backlash, but like you just said, it's been since 2016. So I think to a lot of people, how good is he going to be six years after the fact? You know, I mean--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: --the one thing that people have said all this time, people who always and forever hate Colin Kaepernick for what he did, you know, they said he was never that good to begin with, which is crap. Let's be clear. But now if you already thought he wasn't that good and it's been six years, then I think you can wrap yourself in the comfort of, you know, that-- that, well, he wasn't that good six years ago. So how good is he going to be now?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Well, another thing too. I want to mention this real quick. I don't mean to cut you off, but like, people who say that, by the way, they forget or they ignore he was injured at the end of his run with the 49ers. He was not healthy. The last two years he was there, he was not a healthy player. And--
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: That receiving corps was terrible.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, the team around him was not good, and he lost a significant amount of weight while he was injured. Like, he lost some strength while he was injured. Like, it was not ideal for him physically, OK? And yet I'll tell you what.
Go find the Dolphins game, OK, in his last year with San Francisco, OK? Like, he destroyed the Dolphins. And while it might not have been the cleanest thing I've ever seen, sure as hell never seen Tua put up a game like that.
I sure as hell never seen Drew Lock put up a game like that or Geno Smith or Sam Darnold or whoever the hell else Carolina wants to roll the dice on. So now again, that was years ago, and you're right, you know? I hope that doesn't become the excuse, that he's rusty. But-- and the truth is, he may be rusty. He may not be--
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG: Of course he would be rusty.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I mean, he may not be the player he was anymore. But I still think I'm glad that-- you know, look. He's getting a shot.
It sucks everything about it sucks the way it went. But I do think that this does continue to say something about the Raiders who for decades and decades have done a lot of unconventional things or hung themselves out there on, hey, we're going to have a Black head coach, or hey, we're going to have a Black general manager. Or there's just-- there's been a lot of things that the Raiders have done over the years to go not going to stick with what, you know, conventional wisdom is here. And Davis said-- he said what he said, and they backed it up.