It has now been six years and five seasons since Colin Kaepernick‘s last game in the NFL before being basically blackballed over his “controversial” (read: totally reasonable and understandable) opinions on the National Anthem. Despite the time away and unfair treatment by the league, it seems he hasn’t lost his passion for the game or his desire to play. And apparently, no one wants to see him get a second chance more than J. Cole.
The rapper, who is a friend of Kaep’s and one of his staunchest advocates, shared a letter the QB recently wrote to the New York Jets seeking an opportunity to prove himself. The Jets, of course, are down one starting field general due to Aaron Rodgers’ injury in the Jets’ September 11 game against the Buffalo Bills. Cole said he asked Kaepernick if he could share the letter, likely hoping that publicizing it would increase his chances at getting a callback — if not from the Jets than from one of the teams that could use a QB.
“My argument was that I believe the people and all organizations should know the truth about how hard he works and how much he still wants to play,” the rapper wrote. “And always has. In the end, he agreed to let me.” In the caption, he wrote, “Everyone from players, to coaches, to execs are feeling the pressure I’m sure. I hope y’all can turn it around, and I hope there’s a spot out there for my boy Kap.”
You can read the letter in its entirety below.
September 21, 2023
Joe Douglas New York Jets 1 Jets Dr. Florham Park, NJ 07932
I hope this letter finds you in great spirits, despite the less-than-ideal start to a big season. I’m wishing you, your staff, and the players a great game this weekend as you look to bounce back.
I’m writing, of course, in response to the unfortunate loss of Aaron Rodgers. I know the aspirations this season were, and still are, to win a championship, and so that Hall of Fame-sized hole will need to be filled as best as possible to keep the team on a Super Bowl track. As of right now, Zach Wilson is charged with that task, and I wish him and the rest of the team the best moving forward.
However, I know that there are currently depth issues at the position, and I’ve heard that the back-up spot is likely to be filled by a veteran Quarterback. As much as I would love the opportunity to fill that spot, I’m writing you in hopes that you can imagine a much different approach involving me; I would be honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad. I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week. If I were able to fill this role for the team, I believe this allows for multiple things.
1. It gives your Defense the advantage of getting a truer read on the more mobile/athletic/versatile quarterbacks it will face when in weeks 4, 5 and 6 (Mahomes, Wilson, and Hurts). I would consider it a privilege to be able to do this and would take on this responsibility with the dedication and passion as if it were the QB1 position.
2. This would also allow you guys as an organization to take a real look at where I’m at football wise, in game-like situations against an elite defense, while also not putting any competitive pressure on Zach. I understand the importance of keeping him confident and focused as QB1, and I would only look to boost that confidence in any interactions that we may have if I was given this role within the team.
In a perfect world for the Jets, Zach Wilson finds his stride and shows that he is able to lead this championship caliber team that you’ve put together to the Super Bowl. I believe a confident Zach Wilson has the tools to do this. However, in the event that this is not the case, I would love to offer you a risk-free contingency plan.
I am sure of my ability to provide you with an elite QB option if, God forbid, QB1 goes down. However, I know that there may naturally be uncertainties from you and possibly from others about my playing abilities. This plan, I believe, allows me to be of great service to the team as a practice squad QB, while also giving you a low-commitment chance to assess my capabilities to help in any other capacity you may see fit.
Worst case scenario, you see what I have to offer and you’re not that impressed. Best case scenario, you realize you have a real weapon at your disposal in the event you ever need to use it. In either of these scenarios, I would be committed to getting your defense ready week in and week out, all season long, and I would wear that responsibility like a badge of honor.
As a final point, I would like to add this. Unlike many of the veteran QB’s that have been named in the media, I’ve never retired or stopped training. My training schedule has remained the same for 6 years; Monday through Friday, 5am-8am training on the field and in the weight room. I’ve kept this training schedule without failure for the past 6 years, in hopes that an opportunity will present itself. I say this to give you some perspective on where I’m at physically.
I have also attached a list of my references within the league that will vouch for my character, work ethic and ability.
Thanks so much for your time.
Jim Harbaugh — Michigan Head Coach – San Francisco 49ers Head Coach 2011-2014
Chip Kelly — UCLA Head Coach – San Francisco 49ers Head Coach 2016
John Harbaugh — Baltimore Ravens Head Coach
Mark Davis — Las Vegas Raiders Owner