49ers

NFL rumors: Colin Kaepernick training like he'll be on 2020 NFL roster

NFL rumors: Colin Kaepernick training like he'll be on 2020 NFL roster

Colin Kaepernick hasn't been on an NFL roster in over three years, but he's preparing as if that will change soon.

The former 49ers quarterback is "training every day -- busting his a-- as if he'll be on an NFL roster in 2020," TMZ Sports reported Monday, citing sources.

Another source close to Kaepernick told TMZ Sports that he's "in the best shape of his life."

Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract on March 3, 2017, and has been a free agent ever since. 49ers general manager John Lynch has said he told Kaepernick that if he didn't opt out of his contract that he would be released.

In 2016, Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to bring attention to racial and social injustices, and police brutality.

None of the other teams in NFL signed Kaepernick, and as former NFL executive Joe Lockhart wrote on CNN.com last week, one team official said they feared losing 20 percent of their season-ticket holders if they signed him. Last year, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL where he alleged the league and its owners conspired to keep him out of the NFL.

But the nationwide protests following George Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody have brought new attention to Kaepernick's 2016 protests.

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Kaepernick worked out last year at an Atlanta area high school for a limited number of NFL teams, but he didn't receive a contract. The workout originally was scheduled by the NFL to be held at the Atlanta Falcons' facility, but Kaepernick pulled out after the NFL barred media access and Kaepernick's lawyers deemed a waiver "unusual."

If Kaepernick is going to get another chance to play in the NFL, he's making sure he's ready for the opportunity.

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Kyle Shanahan sees Jordan Reed as big 49ers contributor, if healthy

Veteran tight end Jordan Reed seemingly is taking a huge risk with designs on a return to football after sustaining a seventh documented concussion a year ago.

But it is a risk that could pay off big for Reed and the 49ers this season, his first NFL coach said on Monday.

Kyle Shanahan was in his final season as Washington’s offensive coordinator during Reed’s first season after entering the league as a second-round draft pick. Now, Shanahan and Reed are back together after Reed agreed to a one-year contract on Monday.

“I know he hasn’t been on the field for a little bit. I know he’s very hungry to get back out there,” Shanahan said.

“When you have a talented guy who’s hungry to play football, it works out if they can stay healthy. And Jordan has had some bad luck over the years. I know he’s ready to go. I hope he has some good luck here. And if he does, I think it’s going to be a hell of a deal for the Niners and a really good deal for him, also.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Reed, 30, has appeared in just 65 games over the past seven seasons with Washington. He has 329 career receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns. His best season came in 2015, when he saw action in 14 games and caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He did not play last season after sustaining a concussion in a preseason game. The Washington Football Team released him in February.

“Everyone is aware of Jordan’s ability,” Shanahan said. “When he’s been healthy, he’s played at an extremely high level. And he’s been one of the first third-down tight ends in the league when he’s been healthy.”

[RELATEDShanahan optimistic 49ers, Kittle will get contract done]

Shanahan said he typically likes to bring six tight ends to training camp. It was a little more difficult this summer because teams have to trim to 80 players instead of the usual 90-man limits. But the 49ers found a way to add Reed, who figures to join a competition to become George Kittle’s backup.

Reed will compete with Ross Dwelley, Daniel Helm and sixth-round draft pick Charlie Woerner for the backup job.

“It's well-documented that he’s had multiple concussions prior,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So in situations like this, there’s a reason that a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? There is some risk-reward. We got to a point where we felt the risk that we’re taking on was worth it with the potential reward.”

Trent Williams thrilled 49ers signed former teammate Jordan Reed

Trent Williams thrilled 49ers signed former teammate Jordan Reed

Trent Williams isn't the only former Washington Football Team player joining the 49ers this offseason.

San Francisco signed free agent tight end Jordan Reed to an incentive-laden one-year contract on Monday, hoping to put a steady backup behind All-Pro George Kittle. Formerly a third-round draft pick by Washington in 2013, Reed was a teammate of Williams in the nation's capital for each of the past six seasons. Williams expressed his excitement for Reed on his Instagram story Monday afternoon.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

A Pro Bowl selection in 2016, Reed missed all of the 2019 season after getting a concussion in the third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Like Williams, Reed finished the 2019 season on injured reserve. Washington released Reed in February.

Reed could see his role increased significantly early on with the 49ers if Kittle's contract negotiations continue to stall, as general manager John Lynch didn't give much of an update Monday on the conversations.

[RELATED: 49ers rule D.J. Reed out for year after surgery on torn pec]

“We’re working diligently to come to a resolution,” Lynch told reporters over Zoom on Monday afternoon.

Reed's concerning history with concussions wasn't lost on Lynch, but the 49ers clearly see the upside in a tight end with four 50+ catch seasons out of his six healthy NFL seasons.

“It's well-documented that he’s had multiple concussions prior,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “So in situations like this, there’s a reason that a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, right? There is some risk-reward. We got to a point where we felt the risk that we’re taking on was worth it with the potential reward.”