- Kaepernick the face of Nike 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign
- Does this move the needle to a possible return to the NFL?
- Scanning the teams that could still use a quarterback
Well, sports fans, if you like your major shoe and apparel brand ad campaigns coupled with lightning rods of controversy, then this is your 1.21 gigawatt bolt.
BREAKING: Nike had been paying Colin Kaepernick all along, waiting for the right moment. That moment is now, as he becomes the face of the company’s 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” campaign. pic.twitter.com/uccpDStbq5
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 3, 2018
Initial reports suggested that Kaep may have hit it big financially. While it has yet to be confirmed, it was a social media ‘Kickfight on the Keystrokes’ between Yahoo’s Charles Robinson and ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Details on Kaepernick and #Nike:
– It’s wide endorsement. He’s going to have his own branded line. Shoes, shirts, jerseys, etc. There will be Kaepernick apparel.
– Contract is a “star” deal on par with a top end #NFL player. Millions per year. Star deals also include royalties.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 3, 2018
Rovell said the former 49ers QB – who hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 season – has been with Nike since 2011, but has been on the shelf until this new campaign. It seemed to just be business as usual.
Nike sources say the company has no plans to give Colin Kaepernick a signature shoe, nor an extensive clothing line, as had been speculated.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 4, 2018
Robinson wouldn’t have it.
I have tremendous professional respect for Darren but we’re going to step on each other here. I’ve been told by multiple sources there is absolutely a contract commitment by @nike for a signature shoe and “Kaepernick 7” line of apparel. And I’m reporting that, not speculating it. https://t.co/kSXq50SbvI
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 4, 2018
Until Nike clarifies that, all we know for sure is the ad features Kaepernick, and it’s a decision that must have caught the NFL by surprise, who, by the way, are partners with Nike.
@Nike is savage.
Secured an apparel contract with the NFL until 2028
THEEEEEENNNNN deemed Kaepernick as the face of Nike for the 30th anniversary.
All of this during an ongoing collusion lawsuit between the NFL and Kaepernick pic.twitter.com/E4SUUf5s4P
— Woo? (@jaidoesfros) September 4, 2018
Everyone from Fox News to average joes with access to the internet and a book of matches has been setting fire to this story and any apparel with a swoosh they can get their hands on.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 4, 2018
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 4, 2018
While conservative USA continues to make this a flag and nation disrespect thing, oddsmakers are sparking up another sort of flame: does Kaepernick make his way back to the NFL?
Odds Colin Kaepernick Plays in the NFL in 2018
This is a tough one to try an unravel. Perhaps the biggest roadblock is the fact that he’s currently suing the NFL, asserting NFL owners colluded against signing him.
Kaepernick was the first player to peacefully protest police violence by taking a knee during the national anthem, setting off a wave of social consciousness that the NFL was not prepared for.
His case is going well, considering a recent mini-breakthrough win:
Kaepernick has won "… a landmark ruling that substantially alters the complexion of the collusion grievance, "[If] Burbank concludes that 14 or more teams colluded, the Players could acquire the option of terminating the collective bargaining agreement." https://t.co/J6kNVAQp3U
— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) August 31, 2018
Yikes. There’s no telling where this ends up.
It’s definitely in the NFL’s best interest not to go to trial and settle this case. But that would appear to be an admission of guilt in the ever-popular court of public opinion.
A better ending for the league would be for a team to offer him a contract, thus ending things on the legal front. Maybe a little encouragement from commissioner Roger Goodell to the 32 owners, perhaps?
Who would have imagined that alleged collusion could be solved with … collusion?
It’s a different time in the NFL, however. It used to be that QBs were a scarce commodity, but the talent pool has been replenished while there are plenty of old fish still getting it done.
Still, in his last year, Kaepernick was respectable on a really bad 49ers team. He threw for over 2,200 yards at nearly a 60% completion rate. He threw 16 touchdown passes to just four picks, and also ran for close to 500 yards. It should be noted that he was replaced that season, benched for the immortal Blaine Gabbert.
Here’s a list of teams that could or should be taking a flier on previous pro bowl-calibre QB.
Odds to sign Colin Kaepernick in 2018
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15/1|
|New York Giants||50/1|
As you can see, as much as I believe he can still be a viable quarterback in the NFL, the chances of that happening are extremely limited now.
Barring a major injury, it doesn’t look good.
Kaepernick can be a Bridge in Miami
The Dolphins appear to be the best proposition, and Ryan Tannehill’s inconsistent play is just one of the factors. This team is eternally cap-strapped, and would need to pony up Tannehill after this season.
That’s not a long term commitment anyone wants to make. Letting him walk and letting Kaepernick come in on a short term deal helps them kick the can down the road, until they find a real plan.
So dumb to me that Colin Kaepernick is out there and teams like the Dolphins are going into the season with Brock Osweiler and David Fales as their insurance policy.
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonFL) May 11, 2018
Kaepernick to Replace Jameis?
Tampa Bay is a mess, and Jameis Winston is skating on razor-thin ice. Any poor play on the field is not going to be worth it, considering how awful he has been off the field. Again, Kaep provides a stop gap to a team that actually has some legit talent.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 25, 2017
Can Kaepernick Help a Super Bowl Contender?
Houston and Jacksonville are break-in-case-of-emergency spots. Kaepenick is not on DeShaun Watson’s level, but he can provide a poor man’s facsimile. If Blake Bortles goes down, he might be an upgrade, able to expand the Jags’ playbook for a team that is considered a Super Bowl contender.
From a pure football standpoint:
The Giants should sign Colin Kaepernick to be Eli's backup
— BeharForNewYork (@BeharForNewYork) September 4, 2018
And then it’s an ode to the 2003 draft class. How do the Steelers, Chargers and Giants not have a next-step once their vet pivots call it a career? Kaepernick presents a lower-cost stop-gap while they draft and develop (hopefully) the next franchise Manning, Rivers or Big Ben.
NFL owners: please, Just Do It.