Colin Kaepernick works out for NFL scouts in Riverdale, Georgia in November, 2019. Could Kaepernick make a return to the NFL?

Will Colin Kaepernick Play for An NFL Team in 2020?

Ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests against police brutality in 2016 served as one of the biggest storylines of the season and was widely criticized by many at the time as being unpatriotic. Four years later, Kaepernick’s name is back in the news, but it’s not for football-related reasons.

On May 25, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, for more than eight minutes during an arrest. Floyd suffered a cardiac arrest while being restrained and later died in a Minneapolis hospital.

That’s led to protests around the United States and a level of civil unrest not seen in decades. Given the nature of Kaepernick’s protest – to take a knee during the national anthem prior to NFL games – it’s hard not to tie the 32-year-old in with the ongoing racial issues in the country.

Kaepernick hasn’t played professional football in three full seasons, so does he stand a chance to get signed by a club, or is his career over for good? According to these latest odds from Sportsbook, it appears oddsmakers believe it’s the latter option.

Will Colin Kaepernick be on an active NFL roster for Week 1 of the 2020 regular season?

Odds as of June 17 at Sportsbook

Will Kaepernick Play in the NFL Again?

Kaepernick’s NFL career started off incredibly strong, as the signal-caller took over for Alex Smith halfway through the 2012 season (his sophomore campaign). Kaepernick led the Niners to an 11-4-1 SU record, a berth in the playoffs and a trip to Super Bowl 47 against the Baltimore Ravens – a game San Francisco eventually lost 34-31.

Over his final two seasons with the 49ers, in 2015 and 2016, San Francisco was a combined 3-16 SU in 19 games he started, he posted a 59 percent completion rate and he averaged only 202 passing yards per game.

The 49ers told Kaepernick they planned to release him after the 2017 season, so he opted out of his contract and became a free agent at the start of the 2017 league year on March 9. He hasn’t been on an NFL roster since.

In a conversation with Mike Greenberg for ESPN’s The Return of Sports special, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he “supports and encourages” teams to sign Kaepernick. Goodell stated he welcomes Kaepernick’s voice on discussions of social issues.

“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s going to take a team to make that decision. But I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”

Kaepernick Worked Out for NFL Scouts in 2019

Last November, the NFL arranged a personal workout for Kaepernick in Atlanta, Georgia, with team scouts in attendance. But due to disputes over media access, Kaepernick moved his tryout to a new location at the last moment and few scouts followed.

The impromptu workout was put together in a few hours after a contentious week of negotiations between the quarterback and the league and served as the latest twist in a conflict that has captivated the sports world since he began kneeling at the start of the 2016 season.

Kaepernick seemed positive about a potential NFL return, telling reporters “I’ve been prepared for three years, I’ve been denied for three years and you all know why. I’ve been ready. I’m staying ready.”

What NFL Teams Could Sign Kaepernick?

According to Sportsbook, if Kaepernick does make an NFL comeback, the Baltimore Ravens are the likeliest destination for him. Take a look at the rest of the book’s odds on where he could end up:

What team will Colin Kaepernick be on for Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season?
Baltimore Ravens+225
Seattle Seahawks+275
Houston Texans+400
Los Angeles Chargers+450
Kansas City Chiefs+600
Jacksonville Jaguars+750
Minnesota Vikings+800
Tennessee Titans+1000
Philadelphia Eagles+1200

Odds as of June 17 at Sportsbook

In recent years, we’ve seen veteran quarterbacks find new homes in a backup role. Ex-starting QB Robert Griffin III looked to be on his way to retirement before the Ravens brought him in to sit behind Lamar Jackson in 2018, an experiment that’s benefited both sides. One team I like the value on is the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings committed to starting QB Kirk Cousins this offseason, agreeing with the Michigan State product on a two-year contract extension worth $66 million. Behind Cousins on the depth chart are Sean Mannion, Jake Browning and Nate Stanley. Mannion has yet to throw a touchdown pass in his five NFL seasons, so he’s far from a reliable backup if Cousins suffers an injury.

A similar move could make sense for Kaepernick, but his previous legal battle with the NFL (since settled) and the media circus that would follow have made NFL teams wary of signing him in the past.

Whether that changes now given the current climate in the USA remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Kaepernick’s story is far from over, whether he steps foot on a football field again or not.

Back to Top