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Volume 27 No. 5
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Eric Reid, Others Skeptical Of NFL's Motives With Kaepernick Workout

While with the 49ers, Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick by kneeling in protest
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
While with the 49ers, Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick by kneeling in protest
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
While with the 49ers, Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick by kneeling in protest
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Panthers S Eric Reid said it "feels disingenuous" that the NFL would schedule a workout for Colin Kaepernick on Saturday, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Reid said, "I'll believe it when I see it. At this point, it just feels like a PR stunt." Reid noted to reporters that head coaches and GMs "typically are traveling or with their teams on Saturdays." Reid: "What decision-makers are going to be able to attend a workout?" (ESPN.com, 11/13). Reid said if Kaepernick's workout is a "real process, I'm excited." Reid: "The strange thing is that it's on a Saturday and it remains to be seen who is going to be able to make that workout, being that it's a day before a game, but we'll see what happens." Reid added Kaepernick "had the same concerns that I just mentioned, wondering why it's a Saturday" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/14). Meanwhile, Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins, who helped form the Players Coalition in '17, said he has "doubts about the league" regarding the motives behind the workout. Jenkins: "Now the league can say, 'Look, we gave you a chance.'" Jenkins also "wonders if the tryout is a means by which the league can protect itself from further litigation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/14). Texans WR Kenny Stills also "expressed skepticism." Stills: "Teams could have easily brought him in for a one-on-one workout. I don't know what's going on, if it's some type of media circus or what they're trying to do" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/14).

THINGS AREN'T ADDING UP: USA TODAY's Nancy Armour wrote she would "like to believe that some team ... is genuinely interested in Kaepernick, and the NFL is giving them the cover to work him out without sparking backlash or another wave of faux outrage." But there are "things that don't add up" (USA TODAY, 11/13). In DC, Deron Snyder writes something about the Kaepernick process "seems suspect." It "feels like the NFL is setting him up, as opposed to offering him a hand up." One also has to "wonder about the intent." Whether the workout "represents a legitimate shot or is merely a sham, the NFL scored a public relations victory by extending the offer" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/14). In Detroit, Shawn Windsor wonders "why the offer now" from the NFL. Windsor: "Public relations. How else do you explain giving Kaepernick three measly days to prepare?" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/14). NBCSN's Mike Florio called the workout a "clunky dog-and-pony-show," as it it "more about PR" for the league ("PFT," NBCSN, 11/14).

DISINGENUOUS LOOK? ESPN's Adam Schefter said it "seems very disingenuous to be doing it the way the NFL did it by sticking it down (Kaepernick's) throat, saying 'It's this day, this time, non-negotiable.'" Schefter: "Now the NFL can say either, 'You don't want to work out? You don't want to take our pro day? You don't want to play.' They win. Or you do take it and they're hoping he doesn't look good and they win that way" ("Get Up," ESPN, 11/14). In Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes the workout is "equal parts science experiment and sham -- a science experiment because Kaepernick hasn't played in almost three years and a sham because he has been available for almost three years." Morrissey: "We're supposed to believe there's suddenly mass interest in him?" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/14).

WHAT'S THE BENEFIT FOR NFL? ESPN.com's Dan Graziano wondered if this is "all just a publicity stunt." But he wrote it "doesn't seem likely in the strictest sense, since it's hard to see how this offers much of a potential public relations boost for the NFL." If anything, this "injects the potential for negative PR at a time when the league is doing all right" (ESPN.com, 11/13).