Extra Points
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Kaepernick Workout Delayed, Moved

We probably should have posted an Extra Point earlier this week about the workout the NFL had arranged for veteran free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the whole situation was so weird that it was hard to believe anything was going to happen until it happened. Sure enough, there have been major changes in plans the day of the event.

Our old colleague Doug Farrar put together this primer on Kaepernick's workout, though he has noted on Twitter that he is in the process of re-writing it.


38 comments, Last at 22 Nov 2019, 10:10pm

1 Mina Kimes suggested that…

On twitter, Mina Kimes suggested that this might be a legitimately good thing, because the NFL didn't have to do this. The status quo was fine for them, and this workout points a spotlight at a situation that they would prefer we all ignored. She said maybe the league is giving PR cover to a team that might want to sign him.

And those are plausible points! I just can't bring myself to believe them. The whole thing is so performative, and nonstandard, and straight-up sketchy, that I have to think this is yet another cynical ploy. The deliberate lack of communication with Kaep's camp, today's attempted bait-and-switch… maybe this is ineptitude and not malice, but it doesn't feel that way. Seriously NFL, what the fuck?

2 The NFL is incompetent. It…

The NFL is incompetent. It seems as if they were trying to get Kaep to sign a nonstandard form, 'based on the standard form' according to the NFL, which is very careful lawyer-ly wording meaning that it is not the standard form. Kaep's camp said it included some nonstandard 'employment based clauses'.
I would be interested in what those 'clauses' were.

7 Florio and McCann suggest it…

Florio and McCann suggest it was an NFL setup to try to screw Kaepernick. McCann’s take:

8 NFL wanted full control of…

NFL wanted full control of the video, no media present, and for Kaep to sign a waiver of any future legal claims. Good call not to sign.

9 But...

It's true that the NFL has taken an aggressive defensive approach here (for good reason from a business point of view). But I really don't see what Kaep thinks he's going to win here, every time he fails to jump through an NFL hoop he reinforces the perception that he will be bad for business if signed - the man simply isn't talented enough to act this way.

10 Luke Falk and Brian Hoyer…

In reply to by sbond101

Luke Falk and Brian Hoyer have started NFL games this year. Kaep is good enough to play in the NFL.

11 And yet...

And yet he's very likely not going too, even though the NFL did this explicitly to throw him a bone to break the perceived black ball. When the NFL bends over backwards to showcase you to get you back in the league and you refuse to participate on their terms what message does that send to the 32 GM's. 

From a talent point of view I'm sure a team like the Bills would love to have him as a quality back-up that fits the required style to a tee - but from a business point of view it's a job requirement for a back-up QB to shut up and just do the job, and do so at money commensurate to the spot. Kaep just broadcast to everyone watching that he's not interested in that job description.

13 NFL was just looking out for itself

In reply to by sbond101

They clearly were not trying to work with Kaepernick to enable a return to the league.  They gave him very little notice, scheduled the workout for a Saturday (when most football people on NFL teams are busy) as opposed to a Tuesday (when this kind of workout usually happens), showed no flexbility on the scheduling, insisted on controlling the video, denied media access, and tried to get Kaepernick to sign a non-standard release that arguably could have prevented any kind of future lawsuit, even if team officials were using the tryout to arrange future blackballing.  


- could have scheduled the workout on a Tuesday

- could have given Kaepernick more than 3 days notice

- could have taken the time to make arrangements with Kaepernick's agent to come to a mutually agreeable release form.

Nothing about the workout says "good faith effort" on the part of the NFL.  I don't even know why the created this unprecedented workout in the first place.  It smells like an attempt to get Kaepernick to say 'no', which then would have been used against him.  

20 Good analysis. It was a…

Good analysis. It was a feeble, unprofessional clown show by the NFL to throw a bone to their sycophants.  It actually comes across as so Trumpian in its conception and execution, that I can't help wonder if this isn't more meddling by the president. 

12 RE: good enough

Luke falk started the season as a 3rd stringer. None of us have been privy to Kap's negotiations. Is he willing to back-up a shaky starter and take a cheap prove it deal? If he's not willing to be paid like Brian Hoyer, then your point is moot. 

You can get guys with mediocre passer ratings that complete under 60% of passes in the 6th round of the draft. But soon we will get a modern case study of whether or not Kap would be signed. Jamies Winston is due to be a FA. His stats are very similar to the last time we saw Kap. Let's see if anyone ponies up big dollars.

26 His stats are very similar…

In reply to by Jetspete

His stats are very similar to the last time we saw Kap.

Last time we saw Kaepernick his TD:INT was 16-4. Jameis Winston has thrown the ball to the other team 18 times already this season. There is absolutely nothing similar about those two quarterbacks at all. 

31 Kaepernick had negative…

Kaepernick had negative total DYAR in both his last two seasons. Passing DVOA around the -20% mark. Overall, his production in 2015-16 was similar to Gabbert's in the same offense (a little worse in 2015, a little better in 2016). Why cite TD/INT ratio?

Now, Gabbert is still on a roster, for now at least, but he's a bottom tier backup playing for not much more than veteran minimum. Players like that do not get much leeway.

14 Listening to Steven A Smith,…

Listening to Steven A Smith, Colin went out of his way to also spurn the NFL. Apparently, he told them 30 minutes before the workout that it would be relocated and postponed - to a location 50 miles away with traffic. Then he had security and fans and personnel present - suggesting this wasn't a last minute decision. And then he wore a Kunta Kinte shirt - fine if you want to, but don't tell me that's not racially charged / just about football.

I get that this looks like a big distrust between both sides, but in the end, Kaep wants a job. The nfl can move on without Kaep. Why they threw him this bone in the first place is on them, but this was still an opportunity for Kaep and he still displayed a lot of unprofessionalism. When I go in for an interview, I accept that I am going to bend to their format. The league owners may be racist( I don't think they are), but at least they have been shown to pay players who are good. What they will refuse to do is put up with a circus. Its why players like Tebow, Manziel, Ray Rice, and Greg Hardy were shown the door and never called back.

Kaep needs to wake up to the reality that his protests have made him a media circus. Fair or unfair, that's the world we are in.

15 Agreed with every thing you…

Agreed with every thing you say.

I honestly don't know what Kaep is trying to achieve now?   

- His original protest was legitimately pointing out police brutality against blacks.  That's become a forgotten footnote..

- If it's about him playing football - he threw away his last chance on Saturday.  The message 16-24 teams heard was that he will not kowtow and be a good boy.  No team wants a backup QB like that.  They put him between a rock and a hard place but seems to me he definiitively slammed the door shut.

- He said he wanted the media to be at the NFL workout for openness. When they came to his workout, he addressed them afterwards but they weren't allowed to ask questions.  Great opportunity to say all the right things about how he won't kneel, how he wants to hold a clipboard, believes he has a good five years in his body maybe more given Brees and Brady. But instead he says things like "go back and tell your owners not to be scared. Stop running away". He seems clueless at best.

16 What gets me is...if you…

What gets me is...if you believe the Jay Z undercurrent, this seemed like a mending of fences. Shame on me if this was all a contrived media stunt, but I think the NFL was willing to give Colin a legitimate shot. Jay Z apparently coordinated this, so I doubt he was in on the sham.

If Colin didn't like the last minute workout, he could have politely declined and said he wishes to have more advanced notice. No one would have blamed him. But he agreed and then yanked the rug at the very last minute. Why? Don't you want a job? Had this been handled professionally and Colin would have come in and made it all about football, then I suspect he'd have gotten a legitimate chance. Now that's over forever;

I was hoping to see Colin play again because his career(from a purely football standpoint) has been such a mystery to me. He had such a bright beginning and looked like Patrick Mahomes at one point. Then inexplicably he declined into an awful qb without injury as the explanation. I would have loved a nice redemption story. What a shame. 


As to his protests - in my opinion he stood for the right things and his heart is in the right place, but he muddied his message in so many fateful ways. Wearing cops are pigs socks doesn't help bridge the racial injustice, it breeds contempt. Wearing a Malcom X shirt with Fidel Castro on it is going to rightfully piss off a whole bunch of Cubans. And his defense was terribly naive - no one extolls dictators no matter how many perceived "good things" they have done. It made what should have been a call for awareness into a muddied, politically charged atom bomb. There are a segment of people who think you need to stoke the fires to a fever pitch in order to bring about change, but I think that just serves to create antipathy and dogma more than anything. 

27 This thread has inevitably…

This thread has inevitably become an exception to "no politics", so I will cut loose. Colin Kaepernick deliberately disseminated a political message with the intent of dehumanizing, on an undifferentiated basis, millions of people, on the basis of occupation, one that contains a huge number of honorable people. That makes him every bit as much a shitbag as any run of the mill virulent racist. I say that as someone who has denounced illegitimate police violence for decades.

 He disseminated a political message  that was nothing more than idolizing a mass murderer. Can you imagine the outrage, and rightfully so, to a NFL star who idolized Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the Klu Klux Klan? 

If somebody wants to sign him, I don't care, but if nobody does, I don't care about that, either.

36 theslothook's top level…

In reply to by Will Allen

theslothook's top level comment made reference to Kaepernick wearing a Kunta Kinte t-shirt at the workout, implying that this was a deliberate political statement of the sort that NFL teams would be liable to see as indicative of likely future off-field distractions if they signed him.

I presume morganja meant to reply to them, not you, or perhaps mistakenly thought the top level post was yours.

38 I think theslothook and Will…

I think theslothook and Will were referring to Kaep's Fidel Castro (Kaepstro?) shirt, and his subsequent defense of said Cuban repressive dictator/anti-imperialist liberator, depending on your perspective.


The problem with Kaepernick's message is that he has swallowed whole the entire package of BLM-style rhetoric; rather than simply denouncing police violence, he's become sort of an unquestioning spewer of far-left-wing slogans. As a result, he criticizes police oppression while (perhaps unwittingly) defending Communist dictatorial oppression. When one eschews critical thought in favor of mindless ideology, such cognitive dissonance is common.

17 XFL

Question: Assuming the XFL happens, how much power does the NFL have over the XFL?

If the answer is "not much", the NFL has shot itself in the foot with this sham workout. Kaepernick will be a starting QB in the XFL and if he's still good the NFL will take a huge PR hit.

If the answer is "a lot", Kaep has played his last pro down.

23 Not just playing but playing…

Not just playing but playing very well to where some QB starved fan base is howling that he wasn't given a fair look by the NFL.


Not that I think Kaep is a saint.  He may be happy with the outcome of this mess.  He gets to play the injustice card for more advertising deals.

24 Most people laugh at startup…

Most people laugh at startup football leagues.  So even if Kaepernick does well, I think most people would dismiss it.


Also, I doubt the XFL would sign Kaepernick.  Back when the league was announced, " McMahon also expressed his desire to sign players without criminal records and to eliminate the practice of kneeling during the playing of the national anthem: "People don't want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained. We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time." "



18 Kaep keeps saying he's being blackballed

Kaep keeps saying he's being blackballed, but you can't make yourself an undesirable employee and expect to get hired. All the things he did Saturday just makes him look more like someone that will be a headache to the team. Many talented players get second, third and more chances because they're talented. Kaep may be talented, but if I'm a team owner or head coach, do you want that attention brought into your locker room? I believe Baltimore almost had a deal with him, but then he called the owner some names.

Also, the narrative that he's unable to find work is somewhat questionable when he's made a ton of money from Nike doing advertisements. It's a privilege to play in the NFL, not a right.

19 There is no such thing as a…

There is no such thing as a right to work for any employer. The constitution gives you rights, but says nothing about your employment status. 

Kaep and his supporters seem to also forget that employers expect you to do more than just your job. They expect a level of professionalism and the following of company culture. Being the best candidate for the job is a lot more than how smart you are. I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly wouldn't show up to an interview wearing any shirt I felt like. 

30 JT O'Sullivan's done a…

JT O'Sullivan's done a breakdown of Kaep's workout over here ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyAWDFOPJX0

Posting it because this site is for analysis and thought others might be interested - not so we can judge whether he'll get back into the NFL or not.

It's long at 40-mins but JT said he didn't want to be accused of cherrypicking or editing out stuff so he's got pretty much every throw where Kaep is in frame. It's therefore quite repetitive in what he says.

Takeaway from it is that Kaep still has a cannon for an arm and JT loves what's going on with upper body. He can spin it!!

But JT says the lower half footwork is messier and that's going to cause issues with throwing consistency. Basically heel clicks as he steps into throws, pops up at the end of his drops and doesn't put himself into position to throw to his blindside off the drop. JT even points out that his fake handoffs are too low.

There are two or three bad throws which he calls out when they occur. And there's one particular deep ball where JT predicts while watching the drop that it'll be underthrown and then the camera pans and there's the receiver slowing and stopping to wait for the ball to arrive.

Seems like more 'bad' throws occur towards the end of the work out which is probably fatigue-related.

He's not saying these are show stoppers but's I found it interesting to actually see someone break down what a QB is doing rather than just talk about them having sloppy mechanics or footwork. Usually you get perhaps a 10-sec clip on SNF or MNF at most.

35 Amazing

The NFL creates a bad-faith, shit-show setup calculated (in the crudest way) to wash off some of the stink of the Kaepernick blackballing - and people rush to buy in.
Many of them, I'm guessing, the same people who would deny that cheeto-head tried to strong-arm a dependent ally into smearing a possible campaign rival.
Tribalism is back, and it's more belligerent than ever.

37 Maybe it was a poor setup,…

In reply to by RobotBoy

Maybe it was a poor setup, but as I said above, Kaepernick didn't have to agree. He could have told them - this is too short notice and I would like to have my own receivers and these conditions etc etc. I wouldn't have blamed him and most people would probably support his position.


What I did not understand was not telling anyone till 30 minutes before his workout and then scheduling it 50 miles away and then doing a press conference after, refusing to take any questions, and then defiantly shouting to the crowd of onlookers - "Stop Running."