Rick Spielman Confirms Vikings Planned to Attend Colin Kaepernick's Workout in Atlanta
The Vikings were one of the estimated 25 NFL teams scheduled to attend Colin Kaepernick's workout in Atlanta on Saturday, according to Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.
Spielman spoke to local reporters on Tuesday morning, answering a variety of questions about the Vikings and their season to this point. The topic of Kaepernick was raised towards the end of the session.
"The Colin Kaepernick situation, you know, it was sprung on us last week," Spielman said. "We're always going to do our due diligence. We were one of the teams that were down there for the workout, but we just treated it like any other workout. We cover hundreds of workouts all year, from colleges to the pro guys we bring in here, and it was just another opportunity for us to cover another workout."
The whole situation with Kaepernick's workout was somewhat bizarre. The NFL announced it somewhat last-minute, and the fact that it took place on a Saturday meant teams couldn't send some of their top decision-makers to observe. Had it taken place on a Tuesday, as most NFL workouts do, it would've been more convenient for teams to give it their full attention.
Kaepernick eventually elected to move the workout from the NFL's chosen location (the Atlanta Falcons practice facility) to an area high school. His representatives cited an "unusual" waiver the NFL was making Kaepernick sign, and the fact that media were not going to be allowed at the Falcons facility, as reasons for moving the workout.
Spielman didn't comment when asked if the Vikings attended the re-located workout. "I'm not going to get into any details on anything," he said. It has been reported that only seven or eight teams attended the actual workout, with the Vikings not being one of them, but it's possible they had a presence.
There has been criticism towards both sides – the NFL and Kaepernick – on whether or not the workout was more of a publicity stunt than a legitimate attempt to end Kaepernick's absence from the league. Regardless, it's clear he wants to get back into the NFL and has been staying prepared for the opportunity to do so. There is obviously some league-wide interest in Kaepernick, who reportedly impressed scouts at his workout and still has excellent arm talent.
Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013, hasn't played since the end of the 2016 season. He became an extremely controversial figure by kneeling during the national anthem to peacefully protest police brutality and systemic racism in America.
The Vikings, in theory, could use an upgrade at their backup quarterback position. Behind Kirk Cousins, Sean Mannion and practice squad member Jake Browning make up one of the more underwhelming QB depth groups in the NFL.
However, if any team is going to sign Kaepernick – and there are reasons to believe none will – it would seem unlikely that the Vikings are that team, due to their current success and the personality of head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer is notoriously not fond of players who cause off-field distractions.