A return to NFL action could still be in the works for Colin Kaepernick after Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll revealed he had taken a call from an unnamed team inquiring about the sidelined quarterback.
Kaepernick has been out of action since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March of 2017.
That decision came amid the maelstrom of the ‘Take a Knee’ protests which Kaepernick initiated against police brutality in the US.
The 32-year-old has since sued the NFL for alleged collusion among league owners not to sign him – a case which was settled with a confidential agreement last year.
Talk has continued over a potential return for the former Super Bowl quarterback, with Seahawks coach Carroll saying he had been contacted by a party interested to get his thoughts on the player.
Kaepernick had visited the Seahawks in 2017 when he was initially in search of a new team.
“After all of the time, the years that have passed, I never received a phone call about it,” Carroll said.
“I never talked to another head coach about it. I never talked to anyone about it until today. I got a phone call today.
“I won’t tell you who it was but I got a phone call today asking inquiring about the situation, so I know somebody is interested. So we’ll see what happens with that.”
The Seahawks coach said he regretted not taking on Kaepernick when he had visited the team following his departure from San Francisco.
“I regret that we weren’t the one way back when that just did it just to do it [sign Kaepernick], even though I thought that it wasn’t the right fit necessarily for us at the time..,” Carroll said.
“So I just wish it would happen, and I wish we would have been a part of it when the time was available then. We’re kind of set up right now, so football-wise, it doesn’t seem to fit us like I said. But there’s a lot of time here. We’ll see what happens.”
The resonance of Kaepernick’s ‘Take a Knee’ protests has been revived in recent weeks with the death of African American man George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, which has also placed increased scrutiny on the NFL’s actions.
Carroll said Kaepernick’s protests now seemed all the more justifiable.
“He was right on the topics about police brutality and inequality, and he was right on the subject matter at the time.
“That’s so obvious now where maybe all of the flak that flew about not honoring the flag and all the other things that were not even a part of the demonstration or what his intent was at all, that just skewed the whole discussion, I don’t think that’s around now. It’s different at this time frame.”
Recent reports have stated that Kaepernick is “more motivated to play then ever” and is still training intensely in the hope of a comeback.
Kaepernick spent six seasons at the 49ers, helping guide them to Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 in New Orleans, where they suffered a narrow 31-34 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
He appeared in a special open training event for the media and potential new teams in November 2019, although it did not lead to him being picked up by any franchise.
Meanwhile, the NFL announced on Thursday that it was pledging $250 million to “combat systemic racism,” after commissioner Roger Goodell also signaled the league would soften it’s stance on banning on-field anthem protests.