Colin Kaepernick's tryout with the Raiders proves at least one thing. He's serious about playing in the NFL again

Only the Las Vegas Raiders know whether Colin Kaepernick is still good enough to play quarterback in the NFL. Kaepernick tried out for the Raiders on Wednesday. It was his first legit tryout in years. He hasn’t appeared in a game since the 2016 season, when he started 11 games for a two-win San Francisco team.

He was cut in early 2017 and hasn’t garnered much interest since, at least some of it because of his decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem that season. Is he, at age 34, still capable? The Raiders aren’t saying.

“We will only talk about the people that are on our team,” said coach Josh McDaniels, echoing an old policy of the New England Patriots, where McDaniels has twice served as Bill Belichick’s right hand. “... We really don’t make comments about the evaluations that we made or what they looked like, what they didn’t look like, strengths and weaknesses, those kinds of things.”

It makes sense. Why provide an evaluation for a player who is still free to sign elsewhere right now? That doesn’t mean Kaepernick didn’t answer some questions on Wednesday, some of them nagging and some of them perhaps significant in his quest to play football again.

It makes sense. Why provide an evaluation for a player who is still free to sign elsewhere right now? That doesn’t mean Kaepernick didn’t answer some questions on Wednesday, some of them nagging and some of them perhaps significant in his quest to play football again.

The first is that he genuinely wants to return to the NFL. Fair or not, there was a perception among some in the league that Kaepernick was content with his post-football life and while he often said he wanted to still play, his motivation wasn’t complete. NFL teams, at least in part because of his political activism, had expressed little interest in even trying him out.

Kaepernick’s final days in San Francisco were a far cry from his peak of 2012 and 2013, when he led the 49ers to the playoffs. Never a big-time passer, his game relied on his running ability. As that began to fade, so too did his overall play. His final two seasons he failed to complete 60 percent of his passes and needed a slew of surgeries.