The Alliance of American Football reached out to a pair of big names about playing quarterback in the fledgling league without success, The Athletic reports.
The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones spoke with AAF co-founder and former NFL executive Bill Polian, who told her that league CEO Charlie Ebersol reached out to Colin Kaepernick about playing for the league that had its inaugural games last weekend.
Kaepernick reportedly asked for $20 million
“I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said.
The Associated Press reported Kaepernick asked for at least $20 million to play. Polian said in July that AAF players would all receive three-year, $250,000 non-guaranteed deals, making Kaepernick’s reported ask an apparent non-starter.
Polian also told Jones that he personally reached out to Tim Tebow, who declined, confirming Orlando Apollos and former Florida coach Steve Spurrier’s claim that Tebow opted to focus on his baseball career instead.
Tebow is playing in the New York Mets minor league system.
Kaepernick out of football despite being a quality player
Kaepernick has not played football since opting out the final year of his San Francisco 49ers contract in 2016. Despite a dearth of starting-caliber quarterbacks in the NFL, Kaepernick has not landed another deal in the league after leading controversial on-field social injustice and racial inequality protests that involved kneeling during the national anthem.
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Kaepernick posted a 90.7 quarterback rating while throwing for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions through 12 games in his final season in San Francisco. He also carried the ball for 468 yards and two touchdowns that season, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.
Kaepernick has not spoken publicly about the AAF outreach or why he declined to play.
AAF swung big with Kaepernick, Tebow asks
Landing either Kaepernick or Tebow would have been a big publicity shot for the spring football league as it tries to gain footing among sports fans.
The opening weekend for AAF was a ratings success, seeing the league gain more viewers than the NBA’s game between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in a competing time slot.
Those numbers are not necessarily a good indicator of how the league will perform in the long run, something only time will tell.
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