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Colin Kaepernick NFL comeback: ‘Rust’ remains real issue for teams

Vincent Frank

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick worked out for NFL teams during halftime of the Michigan Wolverines’ spring game on Saturday.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh set it up as he attempts to help his former quarterback land an NFL gig after a five-plus year hiatus.

For all intents and purposes, Kaepernick looked like his dynamic self in said workout. Linked to the Seattle Seahawks and other teams, we’re now hearing that some around the NFL are worried that rust could hinder Kaepernick’s attempt at a comeback.

Said report came from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (h/t Bleacher Report) and also included a note that the Seahawks are a “team to watch” when it comes to potentially signing Kaepernick.

Related: Ideal Colin Kaepernick landing spots

Colin Kaepernick willing to be a backup in the NFL

colin kaepernick
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Immediately after his workout in front of NFL teams, Kaepernick told the media that he’s willing to return as a backup.

The last time Kaepernick stepped on the field was back on January 1 of 2017. As noted above, it’s been more than five calendar years since he last played.

The obvious backdrop here is the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated during the summer of 2016. He would go on to play that entire season for the 49ers before being “blackballed” by the NFL and its teams. In the end, Kaepernick settled a collusion case against the league for an unknown amount of money.

All of this comes with renewed interest from certain teams in potentially signing Kaepernick.

While there’s nothing imminent on this front, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said recently that he believes Kaepernick deserves another chance. Seattle also has a need at quarterback following the trade of Russell Wilson. To say that Kaepernick might be a better option than Drew Lock would be an understatement.

In no way does this mean Kaepernick is guaranteed to land with a team during the offseason.

Off the field, teams have to weigh what bringing him in would do from a PR perspective.

Related: Colin Kaepernick and top-200 NFL free agents

Fair or not, Kaepernick is a divisive figure around the United States. People have a right to their opinions. And for some, he disrespected the flag and the country by taking a knee during the national anthem.

Almost six years later, it’s foolish to believe that these individuals would have a change of heart.

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On the field, it’s reasonable to conclude that Colin Kaepernick would be an upgrade for over half the league when it comes to the backup quarterback position.

That could also include Kaepernick’s former San Francisco 49ers team. Nate Sudfeld is set to back up Trey Lance once Jimmy Garoppolo is eventually traded. It doesn’t take a genius to realize Kaepernick would be a better option than Sudfeld behind the young quarterback.

Either way, this is a story that’s going to continue making news around the NFL world as the offseason progresses.