Colin Kaepernick is preparing to show Orlando Arcia Jersey he still belongs.
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Kaepernick, 30, has been a free agent since opting out of his contract with the 49ers last March. The season before, he became the face of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem before games in protest of racial inequality and oppression, and many critics have pointed to his association with the controversy as reason for no teams signing him. Others have argued Kaepernick remains without a job because he’s not the same player he used to be, especially after losing his starting job in 2015 under a new head coach and undergoing shoulder surgery.
The 2011 second-round pick, who started in Super Bowl XLVII during his second pro season when the 49ers lost to the Ravens, filed a grievance against the NFL in October accusing team owners of colluding to keep him out of the league due to the protests.
Kaepernick has increased his political and social activist role in the year away from the sport, winning a variety of awards for his charity and social justice work.
Kirk Cousins made history when he signed a fully guaranteed deal with the Vikings, but does it top all the other big moves? Our NFL Insiders weigh in on which signing or trade stood out, plus which team is the most improved.
It’s not easy to project the makeup of next year’s class knowing that some players will sign early contract extensions and others will receive the franchise tag. But the future market grew in relevance when quarterback Kirk Cousins and cornerback Trumaine Johnson signed massive deals last week after fending off early extension offers and previous franchise tags.
What follows is a ranking of the top 25 players whose contracts will expire after this season. Will any of them follow the Cousins-Johnson example? Consider this the first installment in a yearlong evolution of the 2019 class.
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