(KRON) — Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wrote a letter to the New York Jets making his case that the team sign him to its practice squad.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2017. The Jets lost their starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a torn Achilles tendon in the first game of the NFL season.
Kaepernick’s letter was posted on Instagram by rapper J. Cole on Tuesday. Kaepernick wrote the letter on Thursday of last week. Cole said that Kaepernick was initially reluctant to have the letter posted publicly, but Cole said he wanted it out there because “the people and all organizations should know the truth about how hard he works and how much he still wants to play.”
Since Rodgers went down, the Jets turned to backup Zach Wilson to be the team’s starting quarterback. Kaepernick, who reportedly reached out to the Jets through his agent earlier this month, acknowledged Wilson in the letter and said that he is only asking to join the Jets’ practice squad to practice against the Jets’ defense and help them prepare for their next opponent.
He said the benefits to the team signing him would be that his athleticism would help the defense prepare for mobile quarterbacks on New York’s schedule such as Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. It would also give the team a contingency plan if Wilson gets injured without putting any pressure on Wilson, Kaepernick said.
“Worst case scenario, you see what I have to offer and you’re not impressed. Best case scenario, you realize you have a real weapon at your disposal in the event you ever need to use it,” Kaepernick said.
He added that he has maintained a rigorous training schedule while he has been out of the league. He listed former 49ers head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly as references, as well as Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Kaepernick worked out for the Raiders in May 2022, according to CBS Sports.
The Jets did bring in a quarterback on Tuesday, however, it was not Kaepernick. The Jets announced that they agreed to a deal with veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian.
Kaepernick sparked league-wide protests when he kneeled for the United States national anthem before games during the 2016 to protest police brutality. He threw 16 touchdowns and four interceptions for the 49ers that season, but the team won just one of the 11 games he started. He has not played since.
The Jets have won one of their three games to open the season. Zach Wilson has completed 52.4% of his passes and thrown two touchdowns to four interceptions in those games.