LA Chargers: Why it’s smart to give Colin Kaepernick a workout

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) - LA Chargers, Colin Kaepernick
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) - LA Chargers, Colin Kaepernick /

New comments from Anthony Lynn revealed that the LA Chargers could schedule a workout with Colin Kaepernick.

Anthony Lynn discussed the possibility of signing Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday and seemed to mention that he’s on the LA Chargers‘ “workout list”:

Chargers’ HC Anthony Lynn said today that teams "would be crazy" not to have Colin Kaepernick on their workout lists this summer. Kaepernick is on the Chargers’ workout list.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 17, 2020

Renewed interest in Kaepernick has sprouted up across the country and league following the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The chances of NFL teams having a real interest in him are higher than they’ve been in the last three years due to the shift in the social climate.

Lynn is quoted as saying, “I’m very confident and happy with the three quarterbacks that I have, but you can never have too many people waiting on the runway.” The Chargers, as of now, like what they have with Tyrod Taylor, Justin Herbert, and Easton Stick.

There’s a couple of possibilities in which Kaepernick or other quarterbacks, like Cam Newton, could become useful down the line though.

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For example, let’s say the Chargers are 6-3 heading into the Bye Week. Unfortunately, Taylor gets injured in Week 9 and the coaching staff still thinks Herbert isn’t quite ready yet. If the team works out Kaepernick, Newton, or any other quarterbacks now, they could see what each quarterback brings to the table if they need to sign one of them later on.

Working out Kaepernick doesn’t mean the Chargers will necessarily sign him. There’s plenty of receivers, running backs, kickers, quarterbacks, and cornerbacks that get worked out all the time by teams without getting signed. Lynn’s “on the runway” quote would still apply to any position group. They view Kaepernick as an emergency option to have in waiting than someone who will be on the roster from the start.

A lot of this discussion about Kaepernick and other quarterbacks that the Chargers could sign really hinges on Hebert’s development. If Taylor doesn’t succeed or is injured, the coaching staff will have to evaluate where Herbert is at that point in the season.

It’s hard to predict how he’ll develop, especially with so many variables in the air. One of those variables is an offseason that’s been devastated by COVID-19. There have been no rookie minicamps or OTAs this offseason due to the pandemic.

Kaepernick, specifically, is in an interesting position for the Chargers. He hasn’t been in the league for four years, and likely isn’t looking for a ton of money, even on a one year deal. If the Chargers want to give Herbert a true redshirt year or feel he won’t be ready till 2021, Kaepernick would be fairly cheap. Newton will likely command a lot more money and potentially more years on a deal than Kaepernick.

The retort to this will be that Kaepernick wasn’t good in his last year in the NFL. Generally speaking, I don’t disagree with that take. At the same time, that was a 49ers team that fell off dramatically in roster talent from their Super Bowl appearance with Kaepernick.

Seeing what he has at a workout is ultimately pretty harmless though. Regardless of the quality of his last year, it’s worth seeing what he has now in case worst comes to worst for the LA Chargers. Plus, backups and emergency options usually aren’t great around the league.

Ultimately, a workout is a workout. It’s a process for the team to scout available players to see how they can improve their team. It’s very unlikely that the LA Chargers will sign any quarterback to be a starter from the get-go. They seem pretty committed to letting Taylor start while Herbert waits in the wings.

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Seeing what Kaepernick, Newton, and other quarterbacks have isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I’d argue it’s responsible to scout available talent from time to time. It’s literally the job of the coach and general manager to do exactly that. Seeing what Kaepernick has at this stage in his career at a workout can only be beneficial for the team.