Colin Kaepernick didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year and had a fairly mundane season for a starting quarterback, finishing mostly in the middle of the pack for NFL quarterbacks on passing statistics.
However, it was Kaepernick’s political protests that kept him in the headlines throughout the 2016 NFL season.
Now, it seems that the controversial dual threat quarterback is officially parting ways with the San Francisco 49ers.
According to a report by ESPN:
Kaepernick is planning to opt out of the final season of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The league was notified in a letter sent to all teams by Kaepernick’s representation, Select Sports Group. Thursday is the first day Kaepernick can opt out, and he has until the new league year begins March 9 to do it.
Kaepernick’s contract was originally supposed to keep him with the Niners through 2020, but the team worked with the 29-year-old to revamp it before he reclaimed the starting job in October.
It’s currently unclear which teams would be interested in the twenty nine year old and what kind of deal he would be willing to take. It is also unclear if Kaepernick’s off the field politic activism will affect his stock price on the free market.
Before the start of the 2016, Kaepernick began sitting on the bench during the national anthem at pre-season games. Kaepernick then began joining his team on the sidelines during the anthem, but taking a knee during the anthem.
Kaepernick said he was engaging in the practice to protest racial inequality and other issues in the United States. Other athletes did join Kaepernick in his protests from time to time.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Wherever Kaepernick ends up we can likely expect controversy to follow.