Colin Kaepernick was willing to start at the bottom.
In a private letter shared by friend and rapper J. Cole on Tuesday (with Kaepernick’s permission), the former Super Bowl quarterback asked the New York Jets if he could join the practice squad. (Read the whole note below.)
“I would be honored and extremely grateful. ... I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week,” he wrote. “If I were able to fill this role for the team, I believe this allows for multiple things.”
Kaepernick wrote that he could help the Jets prepare for mobile quarterbacks in a tough schedule stretch that includes a Sunday game against defending champion Kansas City. It would also give the team a clearer look at Kaepernick’s skills amid lingering doubts.
Alas for Kaepernick, the Jets signed NFL veteran Trevor Siemian to the practice squad on Tuesday. It is assumed Siemian will get a look to possibly make the active roster as the Jets’ quarterback mess festers.
The Jets’ ballyhooed move to acquire four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers imploded when he tore his Achilles tendon on just the fourth play of his Jets career. Backup Zach Wilson, the former No. 2 draft pick, has struggled mightily in his return to starter.
But at least Kaepernick, who threw for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns in his career and led the 49ers to the 2013 Super Bowl, gave it a shot.
“This plan, I believe, allows me to be of great service to the team as a practice squad QB while also giving you a low-commitment chance to assess my capabilities to help in any other capacity you may see fit,” he wrote.
Kaepernick settled his lawsuit against the NFL in 2019. He had accused team owners of colluding to keep him out of the league after his kneeling during the national anthem. His demonstration to protest racism and police brutality sparked a fierce national debate that drew the ire of Donald Trump.
HuffPost has reached out to the Jets for comment.