Did Colin Kaepernick reject contract to play up race card and get more money?

Colin Kaepernick has been the king of headlines (and haircuts) of late. The embattled quarterback has become a cause celebre; his decision not to stand for the national anthem igniting a media firestorm that has yet to abate.

The popular narrative is that the 27-year-old quarterback has been blackballed by the league for his high controversy coefficient, with none of the NFL’s 32 teams willing to give him a shot because he’ll be a distraction. However, an unnamed source close to Kaep – or at least Kaep-adjacent, allegedly – says that the QB has turned down at least one offer because he wants to parlay his cultural relevancy into a better deal.

Kaep allegedly won’t accept “backup money” AKA a one-year, $900,000 deal, which is the minimum allowed by the NFL for a seventh-year player. $900k isn’t a lot when you look at the $200M+ deals that Steph Curry and James Harden have signed recently, but it isn’t exactly peanuts, either.

At least three teams; the Seahawks, Ravens, and Dolphins have reached out to Kaep this offseason, with Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll saying the team couldn’t sign him because he’s a “starter” and the ‘Hawks already have one of those in Russell Wilson.

According to the unnamed source, first reported via The Daily Caller,

“Colin thinks he’s fighting a much higher battle than he is. He views himself as a race messiah.”

Unnamed Source on Colin Kaepernick

Now those words don’t sound like someone close to Kaep; it stands to reason that he keeps a pretty tight circle these days, given his acute free-fall from one of the NFL’s most dynamic quarterbacks to quasi-pariah, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense that he would keep someone who holds those views in his confidence. Also, it makes sense to leak information anonymously if you’re dealing with state secrets or classified material; Colin Kapernick’s motivations fall into neither of those categories. Also, let’s not forget that Kaep is about $700,000 of the way through his pledge to donate $1M to charitable causes; so to call the man pious is simply not true.

With the NFL season less than a month away, it’s unclear whether Kaep will be watching football this year from the bench or his couch. What is clear is that for a football player not on an NFL roster, no one has ever made this much noise, save for Tim Tebow, who’s already saved.