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What did former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick say in his letter to the New York Jets?

Could it be that the New York Jets are about to get a helping hand from the unlikeliest of places? The blacklisted former quarterback: Colin Kaepernick.

Could it be that the New York Jets are about to get a helping hand from the unlikeliest of places, the blacklisted former quarterback: Colin Kaepernick?
Thearon W. HendersonAFP

Ahead of the start of the 2023-24 NFL season, much of the chatter around the league and amongst fans was about the New York Jets and their status as Super Bowl contenders after the team signed four-time MVP, Aaron Rodgers. Sadly, the Jets’ hopes were brought to a screeching halt just four snaps into their first game when Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles tear. Now, it seems there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The New York Jets’ quarterback situation is tricky

As you will surely know by now, the New York Jets are in a bit of a bind. This is not solely due to the unfortunate injury Aaron Rodgers suffered, but also the doubts surrounding the player who has been called on to replace him, former No. 2 overall pick, Zach Wilson. Though it’s true that head coach Robert Saleh was quick to name Wilson as the starting signal caller going forward, speculation about who could replace Rodgers was intense, with even the retired Tom Brady’s name mentioned in the conversation. Truth be told it still continues to be and will likely intensify even further now that another name has come up, that of former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Interestingly, it’s understood that the QB turned civil rights activist actually reached out to the Jets in the days after Rodgers’ injury, however, the Jets declined to act. With that said, we now have greater context for that conversation.

Colin Kaepernick wrote a letter to the Jets

You read that right. According to reports on Tuesday, musician J. Cole posted a letter written by Kaepernick addressed to Jets general manager Joe Douglas on social media. In the letter, Kaepernick does not directly ask to be considered as a replacement for Wilson, but rather to be signed to the practice squad. It’s worth noting that Cole also stated that Kaepernick didn’t want the letter to be made public, but was convinced by Cole arguing that everyone should know about how hard he’s working and how much he wants to play once more.

Dated 10 days after Rodgers suffered the injury that ended his season, Kaepernick’s letter explains that he’s been training in the same fashion for the last six years. It also goes on to cite references including Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly, and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis. “Worst case scenario, you see what I have to offer and you’re not that impressed. Best case scenario, you realize you have a real weapon at your disposal in the event you ever need to use it,” Kaepernick wrote. “In either of these scenarios, I would be committed to getting your defense ready week in and week out, all season long, and I would wear that responsibility like a badge of honor.”

So, what happens with Colin Kaepernick now?

That’s hard to say. To be clear, the 35-year-old has not played in the NFL since January 1st, 2017. He did in fact have a workout with the Las Vegas Raiders back in May of last year, however, nothing developed from that. Where the Jets are concerned, the team actually signed a veteran quarterback to their practice squad on the very same day that Kaepernick’s letter was released. That would be former Cincinnati Bengals signal caller, Trevor Siemian. To that end, it appears the future remains uncertain for the quarterback who famously took a knee in protest of police brutality, and was seemingly banned for it. If there is a flip side, it’s that the public is now aware of not just Kaepernick’s dedication and desire, but his humility as well. Perhaps that can work in his favor.