NFL rumors: Teams talking to Colin Kaepernick's friends, associates

Ali Thanawalla
NBC Sports BayArea

Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have an NFL job, but that could change soon.

NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Friday, citing sources, that interested NFL teams are talking to the quarterback's friends and people associated with him.

Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since Jan. 1, 2017, when he was with the 49ers. During the 2016 season, he first took a seat, and then knelt, during the national anthem to bring attention to racial and social injustices, and police brutality.

After the 2016 season, new 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan told Kaepernick they planned to release him, so he opted out of his contract.

Kaepernick was supposed to work out for NFL teams at the Falcons' facility earlier this year, but after disagreements over various aspects of the session, Kaepernick moved the workout to an Atlanta-area high school.

Despite looking good in the session, Kaepernick wasn't offered a contract by any NFL team. But things could be changing, according to Garafolo.

"Teams are circling around here, getting closer, I believe, certainly closer than they've been in recent years," Garafolo said Friday on NFL Network (h/t NFL.com). "Now you might say why not just go directly to Kaepernick, go directly to his agent? Why do you have to play this game where you're working the periphery -- just more of the same? That would be a fair point.

"My understanding, at least to explain it from a team's perspective, is they're still doing their homework, still doing their research. When they get to the point where they're confident enough that they think they can work out a contract, that's when there'll be direct communication with the agent. But for now … we all see more positive signs that Kaepernick could be back in the league soon."

Two weeks ago, Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Kaepernick is on the team's workout list. With team facilities shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, it's unclear when the Chargers might be able to bring in Kaepernick.

[RELATED: Kaepernick, Boyer enacted real change]

Is Kaepernick's NFL unemployment coming to an end? Based on what Garafolo is hearing, it is. But it remains to be seen if a team is willing to give Kaepernick a chance.

NFL rumors: Teams talking to Colin Kaepernick's friends, associates originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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