Only the Las Vegas Raiders know if Colin Cabernick is still good enough to play quarterback in the NFL.
Cabernick tried for the Raiders on Wednesday. This is his first formal attempt in many years. He has not appeared in a single game since the 2016 season, and he started 11 games for the two-win San Francisco team.
He was cut in early 2017, and at least some of it didn’t show much interest because he decided to kneel when the national anthem was played that season.
Is he, at 34, still talented? The Raiders did not say.
“We will only talk about the people on our team,” said coach Josh McDaniels, echoing the old policy of the New England Patriots, where McDaniels twice served as Phil Belich’s right-hand man. “… the assessments we made or what they were, how they did not appear, the strengths and weaknesses, we do not comment on those kinds of things.”
Is knowledgeable. Why give a rating to a player who is still free to sign elsewhere?
That doesn’t mean Cabernick did not answer some questions on Wednesday, some of them were nagging and some of them significant in their quest to play football again.
First, he really wants to return to the NFL. Whether fair or not, there was an opinion among some in the league that Cabernicz was satisfied with his post-football career and that despite his desire to continue playing, his motivation was not complete.
NFL teams, at least because of his political activism, were not much interested in trying him out.
Cabernick’s final days in San Francisco were far from the peak of 2012 and 2013, when he led 49 players to the playoffs. Not a big time passer, his game relied on his running ability. As it began to fade, his overall game began to fade. In his last two seasons he has failed to complete 60 percent of the passes and required several surgeries.
However, considering the annual parade of matching midfield quarterbacks each week, and starting late in the season due to injury, there is no doubt that his exclusion from the league is not performance-based.
However, Kepernick could not offer anyone a chance, and the notion that he “really did not want to play” was easy for NFL teams.
This was especially pronounced on November 12, 2019, when the NFL set up training for him in the presence of groups who wanted to send a representative.
Cabernick left the session 30 minutes ago in Atlanta, it closed to the public and the NFL expressed concern about what he wanted to sign. He then moved it to another part of the city with his own camera crew.
Although Kabernick’s concerns are justified, it is the employer who holds the cards when you look for work. Until anything is asked outside the law, you should do as they please. If they want you to wear a suit, you wear a suit. Maybe if you have enough talent, it doesn’t matter. Cabernicz no longer did.
The attempt was a disaster. Cabernick was good at throwing the ball, but no one signed him. It was seen by some in the league as a serious advertising stunt from a guy who seemed hard to work with. Again, who knows if that’s true, but how the NFL took it.
Well, maybe he really wants to play. Maybe he always did. Or things may have changed. Whatever it was, the workout with the riders depended on how the system worked. That alone should turn some heads in the NFL. Or take at least one reason for ignoring him at the table.
Kaepernick seems to be very ready to be a backup. Of course, he wants to start. But every player should like it. His willingness to try for Las Vegas suggests that he is not waiting for a guaranteed job.
Derek Carr is a Vegas-based starter. The three-time Pro bowler has not missed a single game since 2017 and took the Raiders to the playoffs a season earlier. In April he signed a three-year extension worth $ 121.5 million.
Cabernick knows it all. Aside from training camp winning some amazing jobs (even if he signed up), he knew the riders were interested in him as a backup.
If nothing else, some other quarterback-poor team might see him in a new light. Or someone may have decided to look a second time at a guy who could bring even more talent to the list.
Maybe Vegas can sign him. Or else he might get another attempt.
All of this is a long way from returning to the NFL from Cabernick, but no matter what happens during the effort, Wednesday was still an important day for the quarterback.