News of Tim Tebow’s imminent return to the NFL as a tight end with the Jacksonville Jaguars was met with surprise by fans and league officials alike. Tebow’s unlikely resurgence after a six-year absence also reminded the NFL world of another former player who hasn’t been seen on the gridiron since 2017, Colin Kaepernick.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not played in an NFL game since January 1st 2017, when he threw for 215 yards and one touchdown in a close loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Kaepernick is only 33 years old, and a return to the NFL is long overdue. If Tebow can get another opportunity in a position he’s never played before, why can’t Colin Kaepernick receive another chance too?
US Senator wants Kaepernick back in the league
Senator Cory Booker, a former tight end at Stanford University, was asked about Tim Tebow’s return to the NFL by TMZ, and he quickly brought up the Colin Kaepernick situation:
"I don’t need to cast a shadow on Tim Tebow in order to point out the injustice of Colin Kaepernick," Booker said...."It's wrong. He was blackballed and I don’t need to push someone else down in order to point that out."
Booker went on to say Kaepernick got an "awful deal," and he complimented the former star quarterback's athletic abilities. He then argued that Kaepernick's career was sabotaged by people who opposed his activism.
Kaepernick’s NFL Career
The six-foot-four, 230-pound quarterback was drafted 36th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick played six seasons for the Niners, setting several NFL records in the process.
In 2012, Kaepernick led the franchise to an 11-4-1 record and a playoff run. There he put the team on his back. In his first post-season start against the Green Bay Packers, he rushed for an NFL post-season record 181 yards in the 45-31 victory.
San Francisco then reached Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick threw for 302 yards with one TD and one rushing TD in a narrow 34-31 loss. The mobile QB broke the NFL rushing record for a QB in the post-season with 264 yards.
Kaepernick was the team's starter until 2016, when injuries and inconsistent play caught up with him. He regained his starting job, but he parted ways with the 49ers at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Activism and anthem controversy
During the 2016 pre-season, Kaepernick began to kneel for the national anthem while also becoming more vocal about police brutality and racism in America.
Many other NFL players followed his lead by kneeling during the anthem, and the movement became a national controversy. US politicians, including future president Donald Trump, spoke out against the 49ers QB.
Kaepernick went unsigned through the 2017 NFL offseason, and he eventually filed a grievance with the league. He accused the owners of colluding to keep him out of the league in response to this controversy.
Since his release from the 49ers, Kaepernick has only been invited to visit two teams, the Seahawks and the Ravens. Neither franchise signed him, so Kaepernick remains a free agent.
NFL Career Statistics
Games - 69
Passing yards - 12,271
Passer rating - 88.9
Touchdowns - 72
Interceptions - 30
Rushing TDs - 13
Rushng yards - 2,300