"Our clubs are the ones that make decisions of players they want on their roster," Goodell said about Kaepernick's situation.
During a press conference from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked why quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not been signed to a team since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in March of 2017.
Goodell said that clubs are ones who determine the players on their rosters.
"I think if a team decides that Colin Kaepernick or any other player can help their team win, that's what they'll do," Goodell said. "They want to win and they make those decisions individually in the best interest of their club."
When pressed about Kaepernick's extended free agency again, Goodell reiterated: "Our clubs are the ones that make decisions of players they want on their roster."
Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem in August 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. The protests drew national attention, sparking controversy and debate across the country and within the NFL. Following the 2016 season, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers.
Amid speculation that the quarterback was being blackballed for his stances, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL on behalf of Kaepernick and former 49ers teammate Eric Reid. The lawsuit alleges that team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent the player's employment because of protests.
While Reid, who became a free agent last offseason after starting 12 of 13 games for San Francisco, was picked up by the Carolina Panthers, Kaepernick has been unable to secure another contract since and remains on the free agent quarterback market.