The latest reported reason teams aren't signing Colin Kaepernick: His vegan diet

Shutdown Corner

We’ve reached a tipping point on the Colin Kaepernick saga. It has officially entered a phase of absolute ridiculousness.

Whether you believe Kaepernick is unsigned because of his national-anthem protest or simply because he’s not accurate enough from the pocket, I bet you didn’t see this coming: Matt Maiocco, who covers the San Francisco 49ers for NBC Sports Bay Area, said teams haven’t signed Kaepernick because they are worried about the quarterback’s … vegan diet.

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To clarify, Maiocco is a fine and thorough reporter. I’m not questioning the report. I’m questioning if NFL teams have collectively lost their minds. And Maiocco seemed to recognize the silliness of it; he was just passing along information.

Let’s point out that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is probably the greatest quarterback ever, has an intense diet that has been described as vegan for “most of the year,” with some lean meats in the winter.

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Kaepernick’s weight was down last season, and that was an issue in him not being fully ready at the start of the season, but he also had multiple offseason surgeries. That played a big part. And he’s reportedly back to his full weight this offseason, so the vegan excuse seems even stranger.

What are we really talking about here? NFL teams clearly don’t want to be accused of colluding against Kaepernick, but does that mean we’re going to get a parade of dumb excuses why he’s unsigned. It’s very unusual for a quarterback of Kaepernick’s age and ability to be unsigned, and if you want to buy that it’s because he’s vegan, go ahead. Feel free to believe it when someone else reports in a week that Kaepernick has too many vowels in his name or whatever will be next for The Real Reason he’s scaring NFL teams off.

But this is the road we’re seemingly taking with the Kaepernick story now. His national anthem protest isn’t why he’s unsigned, it’s because teams are worried about him being a vegan. Sure, sounds plausible. Like if he showed up for a meeting with an NFL team eating a steak, they’d sign him on the spot.

Maybe Kaepernick will get signed before long (Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh thinks there’s no question he will be signed… and we’ll be revisiting those glowing Harbaugh quotes if Kaepernick is still unsigned as training camps start). In the meantime, we can count how many insane excuses teams come up with for not picking him up.

Colin Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent. (AP)
Colin Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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