Colin Kaepernick hired new agents, which was reported this week. The agents told teams Kaepernick would be opting out of his San Francisco 49ers contract to become a free agent, news that broke Wednesday. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Kaepernick would stand for the national anthem in 2017.
All of these things are related, of course.
Kaepernick will have a tough enough time finding the right fit in free agency, given his inconsistency on the field over the past few years. Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest of last season likely wouldn’t have been a positive for most NFL owners. So Kaepernick – who, again, has new agents – let everyone know that he won’t be kneeling during the anthem anymore, through Adam Schefter at ESPN.
Schefter reported that Kaepernick doesn’t want the “past method of protest to detract from the positive change that he believes has been created, per sources.” While that might be true, nobody could possibly believe it’s a coincidence that report came out out about 24 hours after it was announced Kaepernick would be a free agent.
Perhaps ending the protest will make Kaepernick’s free-agency tour a little less complicated, though if owners were upset with Kaepernick already, they’re not likely to forgive and forget just because he’ll stand for the anthem in 2017. However, the entire story might not matter if even one team views Kaepernick as a viable option at quarterback and wants to sign him.
Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest, which he did bring attention to social and racial injustice, could have been viewed as a possible distraction for a new team. Dropping the protest at least eliminates that issue.
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