Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has written to the New York Jets in hopes of securing a return to the NFL for the first time since 2016.
Kaepernick, 35, wrote to Jets General Manager Joe Douglas to ask whether he could be given a chance to help the team deal with the loss of Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the season opener.
Zach Wilson, who replaced Rodgers, has struggled for the 1-2 Jets.
Kaepernick, in a Sept. 21 letter posted Tuesday on Instagram by rapper J. Cole, asked Douglas to consider letting him join the Jets' practice squad, which serves as a scout team.
"I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week," the letter said. "If I were able to fill this role for the team, I believe this allows for multiple things."
He then listed two benefits that would result from his presence:
"1. It gives your Defense, the advantage of getting a truer read on the more mobile/athletic/versatile quarterbacks it will face when in weeks 4, 5 and 6 ([Patrick] Mahomes, [Russell] Wilson, and [Jalen] Hurts). I would consider it a privilege to be able to do this and would take on this responsibility with the dedication and passion as if it were the QB1 position.
2. This would also allow you guys as an organization to take a real look at where I’m at football wise, in game-like situations against an elite defense, while also not putting any competitive pressure on Zach. I understand the importance of keeping him confident and focused as QB1, and I would only look to boost that confidence in any interactions that we may have if I was given this role within the team."
Kaepernick, though, added that a role on the practice squad would give the Jets "a low-commitment chance to assess my capabilities to help in any other capacity you may see fit."
Kaepernick became a symbol for Black activists when he kneeled during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback filed a grievance accusing NFL owners of colluding to keep him from playing professionally. The league reached a settlement with Kaepernick in 2019.
Cole wrote that Kaepernick initially was reluctant to share the letter on social media, but changed his mind after the two friends spoke.
"My argument was that I believe the people and all organizations should know the truth about how hard he works and how much he still wants to play. And always has," Cole said. "In the end, he agreed to let me."
On Tuesday, the Jets signed veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian to the practice squad.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.