Colin Kaepernick Reportedly Willing to Accept Backup Role in Comeback Attempt

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 1, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 28: Colin Kaepernick arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "Colin In Black And White" at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on October 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage,)
Kevin Winter/WireImage,

Colin Kaepernick is willing to accept a backup quarterback role if that's the path he must follow to return to the NFL after five seasons.

CBS Sports' Josina Anderson tweeted the report Friday:

IG: JosinaAnderson @JosinaAnderson

I'm told Colin Kaepernick has informed others that he's open to accepting even a back-up QB role--if* that's what it takes--to facilitate a return to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a>, per league source. "You have to credit Jim Harbaugh that he's willing to help his former player to try to get back."

The report comes after news dropped that Kaepernick will be holding an exhibition throwing session during halftime of the University of Michigan's spring football game Saturday:

Field Yates @FieldYates

News: Free agent QB Colin Kaepernick will hold an exhibition throwing event with some draft-eligible players during halftime of Michigan’s spring game tomorrow. NFL club personnel in attendance are permitted to watch the event.

Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh was Kaepernick's head coach with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14.

Kaepernick is also the honorary captain for Michigan's Maize and Blue Spring Game:

Michigan Football @UMichFootball

Football Family.<br><br>Excited to share the field with our honorary captain for Saturday's Maize and Blue Spring Game, <a href="https://twitter.com/Kaepernick7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kaepernick7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBlue?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBlue</a> 〽 <a href="https://t.co/2H6Yj2Ivwl">pic.twitter.com/2H6Yj2Ivwl</a>

Kaepernick played with the 49ers from 2011-16. During his last season, he sat or kneeled during the playing of the national anthem to protest police violence and racial discrimination.

No team has signed Kaepernick since he opted out of his Niners contract. He and ex-49ers teammate Eric Reid, who knelt alongside him, filed a grievance against the NFL in which they alleged the league's 32 teams colluded and refused to sign them because of their protests. They settled with the NFL in 2019.

The former University of Nevada star completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 72 touchdowns (30 interceptions) in 69 games (58 starts) for the 49ers. He also rushed for 2,300 yards and 13 scores.

Kaepernick notably took over for the 2012 49ers down the stretch and helped lead San Francisco to an NFC title. With Kaepernick operating as the full-time starter in 2013, the 49ers went 12-4 and reached the NFC Championship Game.