At least one sports betting site is putting the best odds on the Cincinnati Bengals to sign former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, if he lands a job following the NFL-arranged workout for him Saturday in Atlanta.
Although it seems like an unlikely match, some Bengals players wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.
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Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since 2016 when he began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the pregame national anthem. The NFL organized a private Pro Day-like workout to give all 32 teams a chance to evaluate him.
According to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals will be evaluating Kaepernick from that workout. SportsGaming.ag lists the Bengals with the best odds of signing Kaepernick.
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“I’ve seen crazier things in this league,” Bengals cornerback B.W. Webb said when asked if he would be surprised if the Bengals signed Kaepernick. “That would be cool, a vet like that in the locker room to help out the offense. Not even saying he would come in and start over (Ryan) Finley or anything like that, but I think that would be a good guy for Finley to learn from. Any time you have a vet that has been in the league a while, he could always pass down knowledge to whoever is in their position, younger guys. To have someone like that, that went to a Super Bowl and everything like that, to share that knowledge with younger players would be cool.”
The 32-year-old quarterback has 72 career touchdown passes, 13 rushing touchdowns, 30 interceptions and a Super Bowl start, but hasn’t had a single workout since he opted out of his contract at the end of his contract in 2016, according to ESPN. In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL alleging collusion by team owners to keep him out of the league, and this past January, Kaepernick and the league reached a settlement, but it doesn’t appear the workout was arranged as part of that.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor did not wish to comment Wednesday on whether the team would have scouts there for Kaepernick’s workout. The NFL is recording every part of the event, which includes an interview, measurements, timing and testing, as well as quarterback drills, and the film will be made available to all 32 teams in the league.
Cincinnati is seeking a franchise quarterback after benching veteran Andy Dalton and replacing him with rookie fourth-round draft pick Ryan Finley. Kaepernick might not be the long-term solution but could be a short-term option.
“I hope he gets a chance to come back,” Webb said. “I think he’s still got something left in the tank. I think it would be good for him and good for the league to get him back on a team.”
Safety Shawn Williams also said he doesn’t have an opinion one way or another if Kaepernick should get another opportunity. He’s just focused on what’s going on with his own team, he said.
That said, he also wouldn’t be surprised if the Bengals signed him just because of recent moves that have been made with the benching of Dalton and the decision to cut linebacker Preston Brown on Tuesday.
“Look at what’s transpired lately in this locker room — nothing would surprise me,” Williams said.
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