Colin Kaepernick spent nearly five hours with the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, working through drills and meeting with coaches and team executives. When it was all over, two sources characterized the visit as having been a fruitful workout and an open line of communication as the Raiders continue to evaluate their quarterbacks heading into next season.
“It was a very normal workout,” one source said. “It was just about assessing a football player, meeting face to face, seeing the physical capabilities. Like any other football workout.”
Kaepernick was in "great" physical shape and threw the ball with considerable arm strength, comparable to the balance of his six-year NFL career to this point, the sources said. He also had good meetings during his visit.
It’s also clear this was an initial evaluation and nothing more is imminent as the team continues to assess and fine-tune the depth chart.
As it stands, the Raiders are set at starting quarterback with Derek Carr, who signed a three-year $121.5 million extension this offseason. The team also acquired Jarrett Stidham from the New England Patriots, giving head coach Josh McDaniels a player in the meeting room who is familiar with the details of his offense. McDaniels was the Patriots' offensive coordinator from 2012-2021.
The Raiders also signed veteran backup Nick Mullens to a one-year deal, including almost $700,000 in bonuses that will have been paid by training camp.
Those moves would weigh on the consideration of a Kaepernick signing, which is why the likeliest path forward is for Las Vegas to continue to assess its current quarterbacks through the mandatory minicamp that kicks off June 7. That doesn’t mean the Raiders can’t or won’t bring Kaepernick aboard — just that the backup quarterback spot is not in dire straits or in need of bodies at this stage of the offseason.
McDaniels declined to go into specifics about the meeting with Kaepernick, framing it as one in multiple evaluations and workouts that take place in an offseason.
“We will only talk about the people that are on our team,” McDaniels said Thursday. “[General manager Dave Ziegler] and his staff have worked out tons of guys this spring. We really don’t make comments about the evaluations that we made or what they looked like or what they didn’t look like — strengths and weaknesses, those kinds of things. They are obviously kind of private for us as we look at things to try to make decisions to make the team better. If players are added to the team, then obviously we’ll talk about them at that point.”
The relatively low-key workout for the Raiders could also stimulate some other teams to consider working out Kaepernick as well, particularly if they don’t like what they see during next month’s minicamps. Two other teams had interest in working out Kaepernick prior to his meeting with the Raiders, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Thursday. There were some indications of potential interest from other teams over the past two months, but plans for workouts or meetings hadn’t materialized, sources close to Kaepernick told Yahoo Sports.
Whether that changes now remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Kaepernick’s camp is going to continue trying to find workout opportunities in the coming days. In the meantime, the Raiders have put their eyes on him and answered some of their own questions. Where it all goes next is anyone’s guess.