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Colin Kaepernick wants a job with the Jets. It’s probably not the one you think

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback penned a letter to New York Jets GM Joe Douglas and offered to help fill Aaron Rodgers’ shoes

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Colin Kaepernick warms up before a game between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 18, 2016.

Colin Kaepernick warms up before a game between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 18, 2016, in Atlanta.

John Bazemore, Associated Press

Colin Kaepernick wants a job with the New York Jets, but it’s probably not the one you think.

In a Sept. 21 letter to Jets GM Joe Douglas, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current civil rights activist expressed interest in playing quarterback on the Jets practice squad and helping the defense prepare each week.

“I would be honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad. I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week,” he wrote, according to a copy of the letter shared on Instagram by the rapper J Cole.

New York Jets quarterback struggles

Kaepernick, 35, points to Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury as his reason for writing. Rodgers, who joined the Jets in the offseason and was meant to supercharge the team’s offense, went down on Sept. 11 during the first quarter of the first game of the season.

In Rodgers’ absence, Zach Wilson, a former star at BYU, has the starting job. Although he led the Jets to a surprising win on Sept. 11, he and the rest of the offense have been struggling since then, as the Deseret News previously reported.

On Tuesday, the Jets added veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian to the quarterback room. He’ll start on the practice squad, but could move into the back-up or even starting position soon, according to NFL analysts.

Siemian “immediately upgrades their back up QB and over time could beat out Zach Wilson for the starting position,” said Mike Tannenbaum, a former Jets GM, on X about the move.

Could Colin Kaepernick join the Jets?

Since it was written last week, Kaepernick’s letter to Douglas does not address the Jets’ decision to sign Siemian. It does say the team would benefit from having a strong back-up quarterback behind Wilson.

“In a perfect world for the Jets, Zach Wilson finds his stride and shows that he is able to lead this championship caliber team that you’ve put together to the Super Bowl. I believe a confident Zach Wilson has the tools to do this. However, in the event that this is not the case, I would love to offer you a risk-free contingency plan,” Kaepernick wrote.

Kaepernick argued that, unlike many veteran QB options, he’s been training hard in anticipation of having an opportunity to return to the NFL. He says that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and UCLA coach Chip Kelly, among others, can vouch for his preparedness.

“My training schedule has remained the same for 6 years,” he wrote.

What is Colin Kaepernick doing now?

Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since 2017, when he opted out of his 49ers contract to explore free agency, according to CNN. During his last season with the team, he became better known for kneeling during the national anthem due to concerns about police violence and racial injustice than for his play on the field.

After he was unable to secure a roster spot, Kaepernick “filed a grievance case against the NFL, alleging that terms were colluding to deny him a job,” CNN reported, noting that the case was settled in 2019.

Over the past six years, Kaepernick has continued to be involved in civil rights activism. In 2019, he founded a publishing house, Kaepernick Publishing, which focuses on supporting books about racism in sports and in culture around the world.

He’s also continued to seek work in the NFL. Most recently, in May 2022, he worked out for the Las Vegas Raiders, according to CBS Sports.