June 12 (UPI) — At least one NFL team is interested in signing free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Thursday that another team called him to ask for information about the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Carroll did not disclose the team’s name.
“I know somebody’s interested, and we’ll see what happens with that,” Carroll said. “I thought the irony of that was crazy, because I knew I was coming on this press conference and [reporters] were going to ask me a million questions about this.”
Kaepernick visited with the Seahawks in 2017 after he opted out of the final season of his contract with the 49ers. He had another workout scheduled with the team in 2018 before it was canceled. Carroll said the phone call he received was the first he had received since the workout.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, the year he protested police brutality and racial inequality before games by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick would have been released had he not opted out of the final year of his pact with San Francisco.
Carroll said one of the reasons the Seahawks didn’t sign Kaepernick was because he didn’t see him as a backup quarterback, a role he would have likely filled behind starter Russell Wilson. He said he wishes the team would have signed Kaepernick then, but now has less need at the position.
“He just backed up even more of what we had seen in his character and smarts, in his togetherness and his competitiveness, to the point where it was so obvious that he’s a starter in the NFL,” Carroll said of Kaepernick.
“He was a dominant figure as a football player, and that’s how we saw him. The fact that it didn’t work out, I figured he was going to wind up starting somewhere for sure, and it just didn’t happen.”
Critics maintain that NFL owners have blackballed Kaepernick from the league because of his controversial protests. The NFL did not back Kaepernick at the time of his protests and created a rule that banned kneeling during the anthem in 2018.
The league readdressed the protests June 5 amid unrest in the United States after the death of George Floyd.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
Goodell did not mention Kaepernick in his latest statement.
Other teams have expressed interest in Kaepernick since 2016. His attorney, Mark Geragos, said in 2018 that two teams were interested in the former 49ers quarterback. At least a half dozen NFL teams attended a workout Kaepernick had in November but he remained unsigned.
Kaepernick, 32, completed 59.8 percent of his throws for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 69 games for the 49ers.
The second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft posted a 1-10 record as a starter and completed 59.2 percent of his throws for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 12 games during his final season with the 49ers.
Kaepernick also had 2,300 rushing yards and 13 rushing scores in six NFL seasons. He helped lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2013.