Appearing on WEEI over the weekend, ESPN’s Mike Reiss explained that Kaepernick — who hasn’t played since the 2016 season — landing in New England makes little sense given the way Bill Belichick has always operated.
“I feel like a very low percentage chance,” Reiss said. “It would have to be, in my view, coming from a place other than the football side of it because Bill Belichick always says ‘we make the decisions that are in the best interest of the football team.’
“I feel like, the way it’s set up for the Patriots this year is they really want to see what they have in Jarrett Stidham, and they really like the idea of Brian Hoyer as a guy who has been in the system and there won’t be that same learning curve if they bring someone in from outside the system. Especially given that we haven’t had a traditional offseason and training camp is going to be a real sort of hurry up crammed session.”
Reiss believes if you see Kaepernick in a New England uniform, it’s because somebody above Belichick on the Patriots totem pole made the move.
“Unless it was someone from the highest levels of the organization saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to put the NFL shield ahead of the Patriots logo here and say that I’m doing this for the NFL more than the Patriots,'” Reiss said. “That to me would be the one scenario I could see it happening and to me that feels like a longshot.”
Kaepernick’s demonstration during the national anthem would likely be received far differently in 2020 than it was four years ago, as the Roger Goodell has now endorsed peaceful protests. At George Floyd’s funeral service in Houston last week, Rev. Al Sharpton challenged the league to back its words up and find a spot for Kaepernick.
“The head of the NFL (Roger Goodell) said, ‘Yeah, maybe we was wrong. Football players, maybe they did have the right to peacefully protest,’” Sharpton said. “Well, don’t apologize. Give Colin Kaepernick a job back. Don’t come with some empty apology. Take a man’s livelihood. Strip a man down of his talents. And four years later, when the whole world is marching, all of a sudden you go and do a FaceTime, talk about you sorry. Minimizing the value of our lives. You sorry? Then repay the damage you did to the career you stood down, ’cause when Colin took a knee, he took it for for the families in this building. And we don’t want an apology. We want him repaired.”