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Colin Kaepernick has once again run out of landing spots after initial hype

Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick NFL Workout
Former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick NFL Workout

There was a point this offseason when it seemed like real hype was surrounding Colin Kaepernick in his bid to make an NFL return. He dropped training videos and even got to workout with the Michigan Wolverines thanks to former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

This had hopeful fans and analysts looking all over the NFL in search of the perfect landing spot for the quarterback. However, summer has arrived and the only quarterbacks still expected to be on the move are Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo.

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This continues an unfortunate cycle for Kaepernick and one that may mean he is officially out of opportunities.

NFL teams have an easy out when it comes to Colin Kaepernick

Michigan Spring Game
Michigan Spring Game

The former 49ers quarterback last played in the league in 2016. Since then, there have been periods when he has been actively trying to return, and others where he has seemingly been more focused on other endeavors.

Yet, this year felt different. Time passed to the point where it seemed like owners were over the fact that he knelt during the national anthem. Though a hot topic of controversy at the time, kneeling became so common that there was nothing NFL owners could do to stop it. The act was normalized rather quickly and the league did not lose any popularity because of it.

Kaepernick training this offseason prompted speculation that a team might just sign him. However, only the Las Vegas Raiders expressed any notable interest. Even Vegas now seems like a stretch since they just signed Derek Carr to a lucrative extension.

If signed, it means that Kaepernick will only be seen in gadget plays or in case of emergency.

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The reality is that he is now 34 years old and has been out of the NFL since 2016. All the training videos in the world may not be enough to get him back in the NFL. Teams just don't want a backup who has been out of the game for so long, let alone as a starter and the face of a franchise.

So what does his football future hold? A return to the NFL may just not be possible if teams continue to pass on him.

He could join a different league like the XFL or USFL and be a starter right away. That has not appealed to him in the past, but could if those leagues are more reliable.

This is a sad reality for the quarterback considering he might very well still be capable of calling the shots at the NFL level. Only time will tell if he gets at least a brief stint in the league.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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