New 49ers General Manager John Lynch has opined that Colin Kaepernick could really help his chances of landing a job with a new team if he would just let them know that he really likes football.
During an appearance on San Francisco’s KNBR radio, Lynch made it clear that he had no doubts about Kaepernick’s dedication to football. However, he also made clear that he felt many personnel executives around the league did question Kaepernick’s commitment to the game.
Lynch said, “I think the way you could best help yourself is not to have someone talk for you, not have statements, but go sit down and give an interview and let people know where you stand because he makes a compelling case as to how bad he wants to be in the league when you talk to him.”
For the most part, up until now Kaepernick has let his representation handle all football-related matters, uncharacteristically allowing others to speak for him instead of him speaking for himself, something which he has shown the obvious ability to do.
The fact that Kaepernick has been so outspoken on the social issues which are clearly important to him, while remaining largely silent on matters pertaining to his football career, has caused some in the league to wonder whether Kaepernick retains the desire to be a winning quarterback in the league.
Lynch continued, “I would tell you with my conversations with Colin, he is fully committed to wanting to be in this league. I gave that opinion to Colin myself: ‘I think you are having a little bit of an image crisis in terms of, not so much what you did last year, but people are wondering: Is this most important to you?’
“At a position where the guys who succeed at the position are the guys who live it, breathe it, the CEOs at that position. And I think there is a perception that football is not at the top of the list.”
Lynch attempts, wrongly, to draw a distinction between Kaepernick’s anthem protest from last year, and the angst among front office types this offseason. Who have shown a reluctance to handing a seven-figure contract to a guy who doesn’t seem focused on the game.
When in reality, the two issues are inextricably linked.
Colin Kaepernick’s protest never really ended. Just two weeks ago, after the verdict in the trial of the officer who killed Philando Castile was announced, Kaepernick sent out a tweet comparing police officers to slave catchers while at the same time calling for the “dismantling” of the “system.”
Sure, he’s not kneeling for anthems anymore, chiefly because the season is over and secondly as a part of some cravenly disingenuous scheme to convince a team to sign him. But would anyone even remotely concerned about having a career in the National Football League ever send out a tweet like that, especially when he’s a free agent?
Any cursory analysis of Kaepernick’s Twitter timeline, something he controls, not his agents, will show why teams have great concern about his dedication to the game. In fact, take away the blue check mark, and one could be forgiven for thinking Kaepernick’s timeline didn’t belong to a pro football player at all. The profile picture of him in uniform is long gone, replaced by a picture of Kaepernick in an “I Know My Rights” tee shirt. Almost every tweet and retweet is political, or some kind of advertisement for his “Know Your Rights Camp.”
Colin Kaepernick is a football player in his prime, absolutely good enough to play in the NFL and make millions of dollars while playing a position that only 64 people in the world can play. If you have to hold a televised interview to convince people that you’re excited about that, you’re probably not.