*San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not been linked to any teams since entering free agency last week for the first time in his six-year career, according to the Mercury News, and at least one source says it’s partly due to his protest of the national anthem last season.
“He can still play at a high level,” an anonymous AFC general manager told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman. “The problem is three things are happening with him.
“First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.
“Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or (President) Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.
“Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did [kneeling for the national anthem]. They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”
Kaepernick, meanwhile, has been both training in New York this offseason and continuing his social activism. Earlier this week he made a video pitch for Turkish Airlines to help Somalia relief efforts.
Since Kaepernick opted out of the final year of his contract, 49ers GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have not ruled out re-signing the quarterback.
“I’d say we have two veteran quarterbacks now,” Lynch added. “We had said we weren’t opposed to (re-signing Kaepernick) and we certainly weren’t.
Now, they might have to.
Meanwhile, TMZ is reporting that Kaepernick — along with other activists — was able to convince Turkish Airlines (the only major airline that flies to Somalia from the U.S.) to donate a plane for a much needed humanitarian mission to the country.
Kaep made his initial plea to the airline on Wednesday, saying, “There’s an impending famine because of drought, politics, inaction of (non-government organizations) and lack of media attention.”
He added, “People are dying in Somalia right now that need our help.”
Now, Kaep says part two of his mission is underway — getting the food, water and supplies to fill the plane.
For this, Kaep has teamed up with Ben Stiller’s Stiller Foundation to handle all of the funds raised. They’ve even set up a GoFundMe page called Love Army for Somalia.