Just 20 minutes before Colin Kaepernick’s workout was to start at the Falcons’ facilities in Flowery Branch Saturday, it was moved from to Charles Drew High School in Riverdale by the player’s representatives.
Kaepernick’s representatives had issues with the NFL-arranged workout, the media availability and the conditional insurance claims.
Kaepernick threw passes for about 40 minutes at the new site, then signed autographs for hundreds of fans who gathered in an end zone to watch.
Eight team representatives made it to the new location, including Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry. It appeared the Jets, Redskins and Chiefs also had someone in attendance.
They stood along the sideline, jotting into their notepads as Kaepernick tossed passes.
“Our biggest thing with everything today was to make sure we had transparency in what went on,” Kaepernick said afterward. ‘We weren’t getting that elsewhere, so we came out here.”
Kaepernick threw passes to free agent receivers Bruce Ellington, Brice Butler, Jordan Veasy and Ari Werts.
Kaepernick, who worked out in a tank top and shorts, has clearly kept himself in good shape during his near three-year layoff. His passes had zip on them, though he was a bit off target on his deep throws.
“I’ve been ready for three years,” Kaepernick said. “I’ve been denied for three years. We all know why. I came out here today and showed it in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. We’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, (Commissioner) Roger Goodell to stop running, to stop running from the truth, to stop running from the people.”
One team official said that Kaepernick’s representatives wanted to film the workout and distribute the film because they didn’t trust NFL films producing the video.
Also, the Kaepernick representatives allegedly wanted to take the narrative from the NFL because the workout was arranged on such short notice and had the tenor of a publicity stunt.
In a statement, the NFL said it was “disappointed that Colin did not appear for his workout. ... Colin's decision has no effect on his status in the league. He remains an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any club,” the NFL said.
The 32-year-old Kaepernick hasn't played since the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. He helped start a wave of protests about social and racial injustice that season by kneeling during the national anthem at games.
Kaepernick’s agent, Jeff Nalley, didn’t sound hopeful after the workouts.
“If teams want to see him, they will ask to work him out,” he said. “No team asked for this workout.”
The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter contributed to this article.
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