Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
The Alliance of American Football reached out to Colin Kaepernick about the quarterback suiting up for one of its teams, but the former San Francisco 49ers star was seeking a salary of at least $20 million to play in the developmental league, according to the Associated Press’ Barry Wilner.
Wilner notes that the AAF also gauged Tim Tebow‘s interest. However, the former Denver Broncos quarterback opted to continue pursuing his MLB dreams with the New York Mets organization.
A second-round pick in 2011, Kaepernick quickly rose to stardom in the NFL. After being used sparingly as a rookie, he filled in for starter Alex Smith (who suffered a concussion in Week 10) in 2012 and subsequently led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance.
From that moment forward, Kaepernick was the face of the franchise for the next few years.
Kaepernick led San Francisco to the playoffs once again in 2013, losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game. After that strong start to his career, he would bag a six-year, $126-million extension during the 2014 offseason.
Unfortunately for him, his NFL career soon unraveled.
By the middle of the 2015 season, Kaepernick was benched in favor of former Jacksonville Jaguars bust Blaine Gabbert. However, he was ultimately able to work his way back onto the field, albeit with a transformed Niners team.
Kaepernick completed just 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016. He added 468 yards and two scores on the ground but recorded nine fumbles in 12 games.
While Kaepernick was hardly the only one responsible for his 1-10 record that season, he wound up being the scapegoat. That was the same season in which he started the protest against racial injustice and police violence by taking a knee during the national anthem.
Kaepernick opted out of the final year of his contract following the 2016 season and has not been on an NFL roster since then.
Having Kaepernick in uniform certainly would have brought the AAF plenty of attention. However, a $20 million salary may have been more than the startup league could afford.
AAF co-founder Bill Polian revealed to Darren Rovell, then of ESPN, in July 2018 that players would receive three-year, non-guaranteed contracts worth $250,000. The pacts include health insurance and an education stipend for any player who registers one year of service time.