For the fourth straight NFL season, Colin Kaepernick remains out of football as an unsigned free agent. He is, however, back in the sport's biggest video game.
EA Sports announced Tuesday that Kaepernick has been added to Madden NFL 21.
The former 49ers quarterback is back in the game for the first time since 2016, the last season he played in the NFL. Kaepernick began first sitting, then kneeling, during the playing of the national anthem as a peaceful protest against social and racial injustices, as well as police brutality, during that season.
Kaepernick, now 32 years old, hasn't been signed since opting out of his contract with the 49ers ahead of the 2017 season, when incoming general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan told him he would be released if he didn't do so.
Despite not playing in the NFL the past three seasons, Kaepernick has an 81 overall rating in Madden 21. That ties him with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 15th-best quarterback in the game. By comparison, 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the 11th-best quarterback in Madden with an 83 overall rating.
Kaepernick is rated higher than QBs like Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, Cam Newton and Josh Allen. In 2016, Kaepernick had 2,241 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions over 11 starts. He also added 468 yards rushing and two more touchdowns.
Kaepernick completed 17 of his 22 pass attempts for 215 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 25-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 1, 2017. It was the last time he has played in the NFL.