If Kaepernick does return to the NFL after two years away, Carolina would be a logical landing spot since his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, safety Eric Reid, recently signed a three-year deal with the Panthers.
Like Kaepernick, Reid protested against racial inequality and social injustice by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. On Friday, the NFL announced the grievances Kaepernick and Reid filed against the league had been resolved.
The 31-year-old Kaepernick's most recent NFL action came in 2016 when he appeared in 12 games and made 11 starts for the Niners. Kaepernick posted a 1-10 record, but he completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 468 yards and two additional scores.
Despite putting up solid numbers in 2016 and previously leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, no team signed Kaepernick after he and the Niners parted ways. As part of his grievance, Kaepernick said team owners colluded against signing him.
By signing Reid last year and then re-signing him to a long-term deal, the Panthers have shown that they aren't afraid of putting a player on the roster who wants to make a political statement. That makes them a strong fit for Kaepernick.
Also, there is some uncertainty surrounding starting quarterback Cam Newton. Carolina shut down Newton late last season because of a shoulder injury, and he underwent surgery in January. If Newton has to miss part of the 2019 season, the Panthers may be in the market for a quarterback.
Carolina's offense is built around a dual-threat quarterback in Newton, and Kaepernick is similar in that he can beat teams with his legs and his big arm.
As of right now, Kyle Allen is the only other quarterback under contract for the Panthers in 2019 aside from Newton. Allen has just two games and one start of NFL experience to his credit, while Kaepernick has started 58 regular-season games and six playoff games.
Kaepernick has not played any organized football since his last NFL appearance, though, and potential rust is something the Panthers and all other teams must take into account.