While Rubio said he didn't know if there was any collusion by league owners against Kaepernick after the quarterback protested racial injustice and police brutality in the United States by kneeling during the national anthem, he said "if we're just talking football ... there aren't 63 better quarterbacks in the world," per TMZ Sports.
"I don't agree with what he did, but I support his right to do it," Rubio said of Kaepernick's kneeling.
The Republican senator's stance on Kaepernick and his belief he should be in the NFL stands in stark contrast to the rhetoric from the Republican president football fans were subjected to throughout the 2017 season.
Donald Trump fired off a number of tweets criticizing players for kneeling during the anthem, one of which said, "Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!"
He also went as far as to say at a rally that NFL owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" if a player knelt, causing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to issue a statement denouncing Trump's "divisive comments."
Rubio's comments come after Kaepernick filed a grievance in October arguing the NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league. He was never signed during the 2017 campaign despite having a Super Bowl appearance on his resume and being just 30 years old.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Monday internal franchise documents revealed during the collusion investigation highlighted the fact some NFL teams saw Kaepernick as talented enough to be a starter in the league.
The report dealt a blow to narratives suggesting Kaepernick wasn't signed for football reasons only.
Kaepernick last played in the 2016 season and threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games.