Colin Kaepernick is many things in the eyes of many different people. But one thing that the NFL quarterback certainly is happens to be a man of conviction, a fact that shouldn’t be lost on a New York Jets team that could still use him.
On Tuesday Kaepernick worked out a deal with Turkish Airlines to deliver humanitarian aid to Somalia, securing the use of a plane to fly relief items to assist the crisis there. He now faces the task of filling the airplane with the water, food and medical supplies to the famine-stricken nation. While outlooks on his NFL future remain muddled and clouded, his actions in moments like this underscore that while Kaepernick certainly moves to the beat of his own drummer, he isn’t a liability off the field for any team willing to sign him.
And the Jets should be interested. His value is rock-bottom and even though the Jets recently signed veteran Josh McCown, the idea of Kaepernick entering the quarterback battle should intrigue Gang Green.
But can be overcome the perception that has painted about him? The humanitarian mission to Somalia and his dedication to it certainly helps.
Last year, Kaepernick ruffled feathers around the league by refusing to stand for the national anthem, a stance that he said was the result of certain issues taking place around the country. Now a free agent, Kaepernick has admitted he won’t protest the anthem this year. That is certainly a plus for any team looking to sign him.
His political views – everything from his statements on current events to the national anthem protest and even the t-shirt he wears – are all part of the fabric of his views. Agree with them or not, Kaepernick stands by his worldview and unapologetically won’t be shaken from these stances.
The news on Tuesday that he negotiated the help of Turkish Airlines underscores his commitment to causes that tug on his heartstring.
What it also shows is that while Kaepernick might hold political views held by some as radical or outside the mainstream of the main street, he isn’t a liability. He is thoughtful if fringe in his thinking and opinions, someone who researches and delves into these views with more than a cursory nod. He also isn’t a reactionary but rather pragmatic in the development of his views. And while aid to Somalia is rather bi-partisan, it does show the general desire of his heart to help humanity through is platform as an athlete.
This should calm fears around the NFL about his mental and emotional state. While many of those who sign the checks of the players in this league voted for President Donald Trump, most in the locker rooms did not lean that way in this past election. And while Kaepernick likely didn’t pull the lever for the billionaire from New York, he’s proven in recent weeks that while he holds strongly formed views, he isn’t a liability.
And truth be told, he likely isn’t that far out in his thinking from many of his NFL counterparts. He just voices his opinion.
And given that last year he threw for over 2,200 yards and had 16 touchdowns against just four interceptions on a bad San Francisco 49ers team, it is clear that Kaepernick is still a viable quarterback on Sundays. Something that, at the end of the day, should still intrigue the Jets no matter what.