What to know about Colin Kaepernick’s workout with Raiders: Latest news, updates on potential NFL return after 5 years

The Raiders surprised the NFL world on Wednesday by bringing in Colin Kaepernick for a workout.

Kaepernick, a former starter for the 49ers, hasn’t played an NFL game since New Year’s Day in 2017. He hasn’t even been on a roster since leaving San Francisco on March 6 of that year.

During his 49ers career, Kaepernick posted a 28-30 record as a starter. He began his career with a 25-14 mark and a pair of deep playoff runs before the 49ers struggled during his final two seasons with the team.

While Kaepernick has some issues with his accuracy — he has a completion percentage of just 59.8 — he has thrown 72 touchdowns compared to 30 interceptions. And as a runner, he totaled 2,300 yards, 13 touchdowns and averaged 6.1 yards per carry during his career.

It’s hard to know exactly what Kaepernick has left in the tank. It has been five years since we last saw him play, after all. That said, this workout seems to be the closest he has gotten to an NFL return during his five-plus-year absence from the game.

Here’s everything we know about Kaepernick’s workout with the Raiders and other important questions as his quest to rejoin the NFL ranks continues.

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Latest Colin Kaepernick news after Raiders workout

Kaepernick worked out with the Raiders on Wednesday, as was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Both Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were expected to be in attendance for the event, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

The Raiders have not signed Kaepernick yet, nor have they commented on his performance during Wednesday’s tryout. However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the workout “went well” and that Kaepernick “impressed” during the session.

More specifically, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said that Kaepernick’s “arm strength and conditioning stood out” during the workout. However, he also reported that “no signing was imminent” for Kaepernick and the Raiders.

Kaepernick’s workout is his first since he parted ways with the 49ers in the early stages of the 2017 NFL offseason. He has only visited with one other team to date — the Seahawks — and that occurred in 2017.

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In 2019, the NFL tried to organize a midseason showcase for Kaepernick. The workout was meant to be an olive branch of sorts as he alleged owners colluded to keep him out of the league due to his stance on social injustice. However, Kaepernick backed out of the event at the last minute. Why? Because the event wasn’t public and he didn’t want to sign the liability waiver the NFL asked him to sign.

Did the Raiders sign Colin Kaepernick?

The Raiders have not signed Colin Kaepernick and they are not expected to. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that “no signing is imminent” for Kaepernick and the Raiders. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t ever sign Kaepernick, but it doesn’t seem like Las Vegas is going to add him right now. 

Reports indicate that Kaepernick was in great physical standing and that his arm strength was still apparent. 

If Las Vegas wants Kaepernick, it has the blessing of owner Mark Davis to go get him. He has repeatedly said over the years that he would welcome Kaepernick to the Raiders if his staff wanted the quarterback. That includes comments he made about the quarterback just before the 2022 NFL Draft.

“I believe in Colin Kaepernick,” Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “He deserves every chance in the world to become a quarterback in the National Football League. I still stand by it. If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team, I would welcome him with open arms.”

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Raiders QB depth chart

Rank Player
1 Derek Carr
2 Jarrett Stidham
3 Nick Mullens
4 Chase Garbers

Derek Carr tops the Raiders’ depth chart at quarterback, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. He has been a solid starter for the team since he was drafted in 2014, and Las Vegas gave him a three-year,  $121.5 million contract extension in April.

Kaepernick’s workout, obviously, doesn’t threaten Carr’s standing at the top — unless something goes very wrong.

“I think he (Carr) knows this is his football team and he’s working like it on the field and he’s leading the way that we want him to lead and he’s doing all the right things,” McDaniels said. “I couldn’t ask more from Derek Carr and very pleased with what he’s doing so far.”

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Currently, the Raiders have three quarterbacks on their roster behind Carr. They are Jarrett Stidham, Nick Mullens and Chase Garbers. Stidham, a former fourth-round pick by the Patriots, has the most upside of the bunch and is the most experienced in McDaniels’ offensive system. However, he’s also far from a proven thing.

Meanwhile, Mullens is a journeyman with a 5-12 record as a starter and Garbers is an undrafted rookie from what was considered a weak quarterback class. Neither would inspire much hope as a backup were Carr to go down during the season.

How old is Colin Kaepernick?

Colin Kaepernick is 34 years old and will turn 35 during the 2022 NFL season. He entered the league at age 23 after being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the 49ers. Kaepernick was 29 when he last played in the NFL.

MORE: Full details of Derek Carr’s contract extension with the Raiders

When did Colin Kaepernick last play in the NFL?

Kaepernick last played an NFL game on Jan. 1, 2017. He started for the 49ers in a 25-23 loss against the Seahawks. During the contest, Kaepernick completed 17 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. He added 16 yards on five carries but lost a fumble.

Kaepernick remained under contract with the 49ers until March 3 of 2017 when he opted out of his deal. The 49ers had planned to release him if he didn’t opt out, so Kaepernick elected to get a jump on his free agency.

Kaepernick had just one visit in 2017 with the Seahawks and didn’t get another official visit or workout with a team until his Raiders visit in 2022. He has missed five seasons but has stayed in shape and waited patiently for an opportunity to return to the NFL.

Why hasn’t Colin Kaepernick played in the NFL?

During the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick elected to protest systemic racism and social injustice in America by kneeling during the national anthem.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche after a preseason game against the Packers. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

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Kaepernick’s comments and political opinions were polarizing and drew both praise and backlash throughout the 2016 NFL season.

During the 2017 offseason, Kaepernick had a player option on his contract but declined it. Why? Because the 49ers told him they would just release him if he exercised it. As such, Kaepernick tried to get a jump start on free agency.

However, only the Seahawks showed a legitimate interest in him, as he visited with Seattle but no other team. Eventually, Kaepernick filed a lawsuit against the NFL and its owners claiming that the league was blackballing him because of his political stances.

FiveThirtyEight agreed with Kaepernick. The website wrote in August 2017 that it was “obvious Kaepernick is being frozen out for his political opinions” and that statistical research demonstrated no quarterback as solid as Kaepernick had ever had as much trouble landing a job.

No above-average quarterback has been unemployed nearly as long as Kaepernick this offseason. The most comparable scenario — Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract showdown with the New York Jets last offseason — isn’t really comparable at all, since Fitzpatrick was the one exerting leverage over the team, not the other way around.

And as Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders points out, Kaepernick is the lone quarterback aged 29 or older in NFL history to throw 200 passes in his last NFL season and not land another job. That hasn’t happened to any QB, no matter how much they have struggled.

Kaepernick eventually settled his lawsuit with the NFL for roughly $10 million. But during the last five years, no NFL team has been willing to take a chance on him — not even as a tryout player — until the Raiders.

Colin Kaepernick net worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kaepernick is worth about $20 million. He earned just under $43.5 million from his playing days, according to Spotrac.com, so between taxes, expenses and not playing since 2016, his net worth is much lower than that earnings total.

Kaepernick has also made a chunk of change from his partnership with Nike. Additionally, he settled his collusion lawsuit against the NFL for about $10 million.