NFL clubs were informed Tuesday that a private workout will be held for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Saturday in Atlanta, according to a copy of a memo obtained by ESPN.
The session will include on-the-field work and an interview. All teams are invited to attend, and video of the workout and the interview will be made available to them.
Several clubs had inquired about Kaepernick’s current football readiness. Sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the workout was also set up in response to an Oct. 10 statement by Kaepernick’s representatives, who said they had received “little to no response” from the 32 NFL teams. Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since 2016, the year he began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the pregame national anthem.
In the memo, the league said: “Earlier this year, we discussed some possible steps with his representatives and they recently emphasized his level of preparation and that he is ready to work out for clubs and be interviewed by them. We have therefore arranged this opportunity for him to work out, and for all clubs to have the opportunity to evaluate his current readiness and level of interest in resuming his NFL career.”
Kaepernick tweeted about the workout Tuesday night:
I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday. I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) November 13, 2019
As Kaepernick suggested in the tweet, the proposed workout on Saturday came as a surprise to the quarterback and his representatives.
Sources told ESPN that Kaepernick and his reps were alerted to the workout at 10 a.m. Tuesday, ahead of a 4 p.m. ET personnel notice that was sent to teams. When notified, the quarterback’s reps asked for the workout to be on a Tuesday, which typically is when NFL workouts take place because head coaches and general managers can more easily attend. On Saturday, almost half of the NFL teams will be traveling to games, and most of the rest of the coaches and players will be heading to their team hotels to prepare for their games the next day.
But the NFL said the workout had to be on a Saturday, sources told ESPN. When the league was asked whether it could be on the following Saturday — by making it this Saturday, the 32 teams have only about three days to make a decision on whether to attend and whom to send — the NFL said no and didn’t provide a reason.
Sources told ESPN that the league office also said none of the 32 teams had been made aware of the workout before the memo was sent. When Kaepernick’s representatives asked whether a team or teams had asked for the workout, the NFL league office said, “We can’t tell you that,” the reps explained.
Because of the shroud of mystery around the workout and because none of the teams had been informed before Tuesday, Kaepernick’s representatives began to question the legitimacy of the workout and the process and wonder whether it was just a public relations stunt by the league, sources told ESPN. The representatives asked the league office for a list of personnel executives and coaches who would be attending the workout because GMs and head coaches make personnel decisions, especially given how important the quarterback position is.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Adam Schefter