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Colin Kaepernick awaits NFL door to open: I can help you win games

Mike Florio and Charean Williams explain why Colin Kaepernick throwing at Michigan’s spring game, which will attract NFL scouts, is a smart move from Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh.

His former NFL head coach, Jim Harbaugh, gave Colin Kaepernick a chance to throw during halftime of Michigan’s spring game Saturday. It was the second time the former NFL quarterback has gotten in front of NFL scouts since becoming a free agent in 2017.

He threw to undrafted free agent and retired receivers for about 15 minutes in a workout conducted by Harbaugh, Jeanna Trotman of WXYZ Detroit reports. Afterward, Kaepernick said he “absolutely” can still play.

“We still can get out there and sling it,” Kaepernick said after the halftime exhibition, via Trotman. “Really, getting out here today for the exhibition was to be able to show that I can do that. Because one of the questions that my agent kept getting was, ‘Well, it’s been five years. Can he still play?’ So we want to make sure we can come out, show everyone I can still play, still throw it. And really just looking for an opportunity for a door to open, to have that be a pathway to be able to get back in there, get a starting job and lead a team to a championship.”

Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016, when he began kneeling during the national anthem. The Seahawks brought him in for a visit five years ago, which is as close as he’s ever gotten to a return.

Kaepernick believes he can still start in the NFL, but he understands the landscape. He said he would accept a chance to return as a backup.

“I can help make you a better team. I can help you win games,” he said. “I know right now the situation likely won’t allow me to come in and step into a starting role. I know I’ll be able to work my way to that and show that very quickly.”

Kaepernick praised Harbaugh, who was his coach for his first four seasons in the NFL, for supporting him. If Harbaugh had gotten the Vikings’ head coaching job, Kaepernick likely would have a job in the NFL.

But Harbaugh didn’t, so Kaepernick remains wanting.

“Coach Harbaugh, he’s always been phenomenal to me,” Kaepernick said. “From the time we met at the combine, at pro day, to him drafting me and choosing to start me. From there, our relationship has continued to grow and develop.”