Controversial Kaepernick visits with Seahawks
Los Angeles (AFP)
Controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who drew global attention last season for kneeling during the US national anthem in a protest move, visited Wednesday with the Seattle Seahawks, according to multiple reports.
The former San Francisco 49ers signal caller has waited nearly three months on the free agent market for interest from an NFL team in the wake of his not standing for the traditional pre-game playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before NFL contests.
The NFL's cable television network and ESPN reported the Seahawks were working out Kaepernick but unlikely to sign any quarterback on Wednesday as a backup to starter Russell Wilson, who sparked Seattle to the 2014 Super Bowl crown and a return to the NFL title game the following year.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he does not think NFL clubs are "blackballing" Kaepernick because of his anthem protest, which he said was motivated by oppression of minorities in the United States.
"Each team makes individual decisions about how they can improve their team. If they see an opportunity where they feel they can improve their team, I think they do it," Goodell said Tuesday in Chicago.
"They evaluate their players. They evaluate their systems and coaches, and they all make those individual decisions to try to improve their team."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last week that Kaepernick and former Washington and Cleveland starter Robert Griffin III were among the free agents tbeing considered.
Kaepernick, 29, threw for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions last season but fumbled a career-most seven times. He also ran for 468 yards and two touchsdowns.
With Kaepernick starting, the 49ers lost nine consecutive games and 10 of 11 overall to finish the season with the NFL's second-worst record at 2-14.
Over six career NFL seasons, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while running for 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Kaepernick opted out of the final year of his 49ers contract on March 3, what would have been worth $16.9 million in salary and bonuses had San Francisco kept him, which was not expected.
© 2017 AFP