Five years after he last played in a game, Colin Kaepernick is still training with the hope of returning to the NFL.
In an interview with Aicha Sacko and Elsabet Franklin of Ebony, Kaepernick said he is "up at 5 a.m. training five, six days a week, making sure I’m prepared to take a team to a Super Bowl again."
The last time Kaepernick wore an NFL uniform was on Jan. 1, 2017 with the San Francisco 49ers. He finished 17-of-22 for 215 yards with one touchdown in a 25-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
That same season, Kaepernick began protesting racial injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem before games started.
After the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach in February 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract to become a free agent. The 33-year-old has received minimal interest from across the NFL over the past four years.
The Seattle Seahawks brought Kaepernick in for a visit in May 2017, but he left without receiving a workout or formal contract offer.
Kaepernick and Eric Reid, who was Kaepernick's teammate for four seasons with the 49ers, both reached confidential settlements with the NFL after filing separate grievances accusing team owners of collusion for not signing them as free agents in response to their protests during the national anthem.
In November 2019, the NFL set up a workout for Kaepernick in Atlanta with representatives from all 32 teams invited to attend. On the day of the workout, Kaepernick opted not to take part due to his concerns about a liability waiver the league wanted him to sign and the private nature of the workout.
"I appreciate you all coming out. It means a lot to me," Kaepernick told reporters about his decision to change the workout. "My biggest thing with everything today is making sure we had transparency with what went on. We weren't getting that elsewhere so we came out here."
Kaepernick reportedly had talks with the XFL and Alliance of American Football in 2019 when both of those leagues were preparing to launch their inaugural seasons.
Outside of football, Kaepernick has continued his activist work in the fight against racial injustice. He co-founded the Know Your Rights Camp with his partner, Nessa. He launched his own publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing, in March 2019.
Kaepernick was a second-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2011. The Nevada alum appeared in 69 games over six seasons. He threw for 12,271 yards, ran for 2,300 yards and accounted for 85 touchdowns.