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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ‘disappointed’ team couldn’t get an in-person look at Colin Kaepernick

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 19, 2019

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (Todd Kirkland / AP)
Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (Todd Kirkland / AP)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks, the only NFL team to have taken an in-person look at Colin Kaepernick since his exile from the league began in 2017, had hoped to get another one Saturday.

But when Kaepernick’s league-sanctioned workout, scheduled to be held at the Atlanta Falcons’ facility, was moved at the last minute to a location about 60 miles away an hour later, the Seahawks were one of the roughly 20 teams that were then either unable or unwilling to attend. Among those not making the trip to the new location was former Raiders and Browns coach Hue Jackson, who had been appointed by the league to run the workout.

Coach Pete Carroll acknowledged Monday that Seattle had sent a representative to attend the initially scheduled workout, though he wouldn’t say exactly who, saying only “one of our guys.”

Ultimately, it was reported that out of about 27 teams that planned to attend the initial workout, eight teams sent someone to attend the rescheduled workout for the 32-year-old former 49ers starter, who has not played in the NFL since 2016.

“I’m disappointed,” Carroll said. “We had planned to be at that workout. It got changed around and we couldn’t work with it, unfortunately. We sent somebody but couldn’t stay with the changes that happened. We missed it. We were real curious. I was real curious to see how the workout went. Just competing, as always.”

Carroll said Seattle simply was unable to make the logistics work to attend the rescheduled workout.

“The time frame, when we got the heads up, we couldn’t get it pulled together,” Carroll said.

The league sent video of the workout and an interview to teams and Carroll said, “I’ve seen some of it so far.”

Kaepernick has not been on a roster since becoming a free agent at the end of 2016, a season when he first sat and then kneeled during the anthem to call attention to social injustice issues.

Seattle appears as set at quarterback as any team in the NFL with Russell Wilson entrenched as the starter and Geno Smith as the most veteran backup the team has had since the end of Tarvaris Jackson’s career following the 2015 season.

But Carroll said the team wanted to attend the workout just in case there was a chance that something might happen that could help the team.

“We’re looking at everything, always,” Carroll said.

The Seahawks are the only team to have brought in Kaepernick for a visit since the end of his 49ers days, doing so in the spring of 2017.

At the time, the Seahawks were exploring backup quarterback options after going with rookie Trevone Boykin in 2016, a year when Wilson suffered three notable injures.

Wilson didn’t miss any games, and only one snap, but the thought at the time was Seattle might want a more experienced backup, and that they might have sat Wilson for a game had they had one in 2016.

Seattle again sought out Kaepernick in 2018 after having to release Boykin after he fell into more legal issues, talking to Kaepernick about coming in for another visit.

But those plans were waylaid for reasons that differed, depending on who was doing the telling.

Initial reports stated that the meeting was postponed when Kaepernick wouldn’t commit to standing for the anthem.

But a source at that time told the Times that the Seahawks asked Kaepernick what his plans would be for his off-field activities if he were to play football in 2018 and that Kaepernick said he didn’t know. The Seahawks were said to want a firmer plan from Kaepernick about all of his off-field activities – including but not solely limited to kneeling for the anthem – and how that might impact football.

Seattle might not have liked it that the details of their meeting with Kaepernick were made public as quickly as they were, and apparently not by anyone associated with the Seahawks.

But Carroll made clear Monday the Seahawks were curious enough in Kaepernick to try to take another look just in case.

“We wanted to,” Carroll said.

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