Colin Kaepernick spent nearly five hours with the Las Vegas Raiders Wednesday, working through drills and meeting with coaches and team leaders. When it was all over, two sources called the visit a fruitful workout and an open line of communication as the Raiders continue to evaluate their quarterbacks heading into next season.
“It was a normal workout,” said a source. “It was just about assessing a football player, meeting face to face and seeing the physical abilities. Just like any other soccer training session.”
Kaepernick was in “great” physical condition and threw the ball with considerable arm strength, comparable to the record of his six-year NFL career up to that point, the sources said. He also had good encounters during his visit.
It’s also clear that this was an initial assessment and nothing more is imminent as the team continues to assess and fine-tune the depth map.
As it stands, the Raiders will start as quarterback with Derek Carr, who signed a three-year, $121.5 million extension this offseason. The team also brought in Jarrett Stidham from the New England Patriots, allowing head coach Josh McDaniels to put a player in the briefing room familiar with the details of his offense. McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator from 2012 to 2021.
The Raiders also signed veteran backup Nick Mullens to a one-year deal, including nearly $700,000 in bonuses paid from training camp.
Those moves would weigh on consideration of signing Kaepernick, so the most likely way forward is for Las Vegas to continue evaluating its current quarterbacks through the mandatory minicamp beginning June 7. That doesn’t mean the Raiders can’t or won’t bring Kaepernick on board — just that the backup quarterback spot isn’t 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, describing it as one of several assessments and training sessions taking place in an off-season.
“We’re only going to talk about the people that are on our team,” McDaniels said Thursday. “[General manager Dave Ziegler] and his staff trained tons of guys this spring. We really don’t comment on the ratings we made or what they looked like or what they didn’t look like – strengths and weaknesses, things like that. They’re obviously private to us as we look at things to try and make decisions to make the team better. Of course, if players are added to the team, we will talk about it at that point.”
The relatively low-key training for the Raiders could also encourage some other teams to train Kaepernick as well, especially if they don’t like what they’re seeing during next month’s minicamps. Two other teams were interested in coaching Kaepernick ahead of his meeting with the Raiders, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported Thursday. There have been some hints 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 will change now remains to be seen, but it is clear that Kaepernick’s camp will continue to try to find training opportunities in the coming days. In the meantime, the Raiders have kept an eye on him and answered some of their own questions. Where to go next is unclear.