Colin Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since his departure from the 49ers in March of 2017. San Francisco was set to release him, so Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the team to begin his search for a new team early.
He hasn’t found one since, and has seen little interest surrounding him since he filed a collusion lawsuit against the league in October of 2017.
Despite this, the 34-year-old quarterback has kept in shape and has continued to practice in the hopes of landing with an NFL team. He has posted numerous workout videos over the years, and his most recent installment drew a lot of attention.
Why? Because he was working out with Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett.
Colin Kaepernick works out with Tyler Lockett
Kaepernick and Lockett’s workout came together after Kaepernick tweeted about this desire to work with “professional route runners” on Sunday night.
For The past 5 years I’ve been working out and staying ready in case an opportunity to play presented itself. I’m really grateful to my trainer, who I’ve been throwing to all this time. But man, do I miss throwing to professional route runners.
Who’s working?? I will pull up
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) March 13, 2022
Lockett jumped at the opportunity. Just 10 minutes after Kaepernick sent the tweet, the Seahawks’ starting receiver quote-tweeted Kaepernick and said that he and his brother would run routes for the quarterback.
Let’s do it bro! Me and my brother will come run routes for you! https://t.co/MPvZTKA8PG
— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) March 13, 2022
Kaepernick was evidently grateful for the response from Lockett. He responded within 30 minutes to coordinate a workout with Lockett set for Monday.
Love to you and your brother! I’ll be there tomorrow. I’ll dm you to coordinate. https://t.co/wiJFVPnYD0
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) March 13, 2022
That night, Kaepernick and Lockett were spotted together at the Suns-Lakers game. They then went through the workout on Monday, which they live-streamed on Instagram.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) March 15, 2022
Kaepernick took the time to thank Lockett for working out with him on Twitter. Lockett responded by implying that Kaepernick “is ready” for a return to the NFL.
Yessir!! That man Kap is ready!! https://t.co/GRZBaqWEC0
— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) March 15, 2022
Kaepernick has worked out with several notable NFL receivers during his time out of the league, including Odell Beckham Jr. In all likelihood, this is just another one of those throwing sessions and it won’t lead to an NFL return.
However, because Lockett was involved in the workout, it has sparked the interest of NFL fans who are all asking the same question. Could the Seahawks have an interest in Kaepernick?
Seahawks’ previous ties to Colin Kaepernick
The Seahawks are one of the only teams to publicly show interest in Kaepernick since his departure from San Francisco.
Initially, the Seahawks considered signing Kaepernick to back up Russell Wilson up in May of 2017. However, Seattle opted not to because it worried Kaepernick’s locker room presence may “feel threatening” to Wilson, per Michael Silver.
Five years ago the @Seahawks strongly considered signing @Kaepernick7. They ultimately chose not to, reasoning that his potential popularity in the locker room could feel threatening to Russell Wilson. Now Kaepernick says he’s in shape & Seattle has no incumbent QB. What now?
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 11, 2022
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll spoke about Kaepernick’s visit back in 2017. He complimented the quarterback but said the team didn’t need two starters at the position.
“Colin’s been a fantastic football player, and he’s going to continue to be,” Carroll said, per ESPN. “At this time, we didn’t do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league. And we have a starter. But he’s a starter in this league, and I can’t imagine that someone won’t give him a chance to play.”
Carroll was asked again about Kaepernick in 2020, as the quarterback continued to remain unemployed despite expressing a desire to return to the NFL. He indicated at that time that a team had called him to ask him about Kaepernick.
“After all the years that have passed, I never received a phone call about him,” Carroll said in 2020, per NBC Sports. “I never talked to another head coach about it. I never talked to anybody about it until today. I got a phone call today. I’m not going to tell you who it was. I got a phone call today asking, inquiring about the situation. So I know somebody is interested. We’ll see what happens with that.”
But would the Seahawks be interested in signing Kaepernick at that time? Carroll said that they were comfortable with Geno Smith as their backup quarterback behind Wilson.
Still, Seattle’s ties to Kaepernick over the last five years, along with the team’s uncertain quarterback position, are leading many to wonder if the Seahawks will sign him after his seemingly successful workout with Lockett.
Will the Seahawks sign Colin Kaepernick?
The Seahawks’ quarterback situation has changed drastically since the last time Carroll was asked about Kaepernick nearly two years ago. Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos after 10 years as a starter for Seattle while Geno Smith is a free agent.
Currently, all Seattle has at quarterback is Drew Lock and Jacob Eason. Both possess raw talent and upside, but neither has put it together at the NFL level so far.
Seattle is expected to add a quarterback at some point during the 2022 NFL offseason, but the market is fairly weak. The 2022 NFL Draft is considered weak at the position while the free-agent market is topped by the likes of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.
The only clear starter available right now is Deshaun Watson. That said, the Seahawks would likely have to trade a package involving at least three first-round picks to get Watson. They may not want to do that given his off-the-field baggage, as he is facing 22 civil suits filed by women accusing him of sexual assault and harassment, and he could still be suspended by the NFL.
With all that said, could Seattle consider pursuing Kaepernick? Carroll has expressed confidence in him over the years, after all, and said he was a starter after the 2017 season.
Despite that, it doesn’t seem likely that the Seahawks will sign Kaepernick. They have had every opportunity to do so over the last five years and have turned it down despite their supposed interest in Kaepernick.
Perhaps things could change with Seattle having a wide-open quarterback race for the first time in a decade. Still, nobody should count on it.