- The Washington Times
Saturday, November 16, 2019

The NFL’s much-anticipated Colin Kaepernick workout was thrown for a loop when the quarterback’s camp switched locations after feuding with the league over media access and liability.

The result was that most of the 25 NFL teams that had planned to send representatives to the Atlanta Falcons training facility for the private workout bowed out, according to NBC’s Pro Football Talk, citing multiple reporters at the scene.

NFL Media’s Jim Trotter said that “only a handful” of teams made the trip to the local high school, located about an hour from the Falcons facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia, where Kaepernick held his workout instead.

The teams that did send representatives to the rescheduled event included the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, he said, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that eight teams attended.

The NFL released a statement Saturday saying it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout,” adding that the league “made considerable effort” to work with Kaepernick, allowing him to bring his own receivers and Nike to shoot an ad.

The sticking point was a liability waiver that the NFL described as “standard” and Kaepernick representatives Ben Meislas and Jeff Nalley described as “unusual.”

“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick has requested a legitimate process and from the outset, the league has not provided one,” said the statement from the Kaepernick camp.

The NFL accused the Kaepernick representatives of seeking last-minute changes to the workout aimed at showcasing the free-agent quarterback, who has not played since the 2016 regular season, who refused to stand for the national anthem in a protest against social injustice.

“We heard for the first time last night, around the same time we heard from Nike, that Colin wanted to bring his own video crew,” said the NFL statement. “We heard for the first time this afternoon that Colin wanted to open the event to all media.”

Trotter said that teams saw the workout as “rushed/forced,” and that the “lack of planning and attention to detail created what multiple scouts called a ‘mess’ today in Atlanta.”

Kaepernick, 32, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current free agent, has not played for the NFL since the 2016 regular season, but those who attended the workout said that his arm strength was “excellent.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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