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August 09, 2019

As Eagles rumors swirl, Trump says he'd 'love to see' Colin Kaepernick return to NFL

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Kaepernick Trump Neville E. Guard/USA TODAY Sports

Former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, now 31 years old after three seasons out of the NFL, has been floated as a possible backup for the Philadelphia Eagles. President Donald Trump, who opposed Kaepernick's political activism, said he'd be happy to see Kaepernick return to the league if he's a good enough player.

When the Philadelphia Eagles lost backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld to a fractured wrist during Thursday night's preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, the first name that popped up as a potential replacement was Colin Kaepernick.

The former 49ers quarterback hasn't played in the NFL since 2016, the same year he began the national anthem protest that sparked a fierce political debate about patriotism and social justice. That conflict drew harsh comments from President Donald Trump, who at one point referred to protesting NFL players as "sons of b******" who should be thrown off the field.

In 2017, Trump said Kaepernick should have been suspended for a game in order to keep other players from following his lead. 

Asked Friday morning whether Kaepernick should be welcomed back to the NFL, Trump said he would "love to see" Kaepernick return — as long as he's good enough.

Kaepernick, now 31, has tried to make a comeback in recent seasons, working out for the Seattle Seahawks and getting some consideration from the Baltimore Ravens. 

Utltimately, Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, arguing they were blackballed by the league's owners as a result of their political activity. The case was settled in February under terms that cannot be disclosed by either party. 

Whether or not the Eagles see Kaepernick as a viable option will depend on more than his ability to play quarterback at a high level. The organization will have to weigh the possibility of his presence adding a distraction to a team with serious Super Bowl aspirations. 

Sudfeld, who underwent surgery on his wrist Friday morning, is reportedly only expected to miss six weeks — meaning the Eagles may not need to sign anyone to play beyond the rest of the preseason. 

Judging by a recent workout video Kaepernick shared, he's motivated to play somewhere in the NFL. 

It's questionable whether Trump would love seeing Kaepernick play for a team that spurned his invitation to the White House so badly that he personally uninvited them. 

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