Colin Kaepernick Dec 24, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) pumps his fist as he acknowledges the cheers from the 49ers' fans after leading his team to a 22-21 come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL tried to have it both ways in their hastily planned workout for outspoken quarterback Colin Kaepernick this Saturday in Atlanta. At least 24 teams were said to be at the Atlanta Falcons’ facility along with former NFL head coaches Hue Jackson and Joe Philbin, ready to assist. On paper, it seemed like the ideal situation that Kaepernick had been looking for as he hopes to re-enter the league three years after being essentially blackballed following his national anthem protest over injustice in America.

As many expected to happen, when Kaepernick’s team pushed back against the stringent demands that the league put on the workout, who could see it, and what the expectations should be, things changed quickly.

So what the heck happened here? Charles Robinson at Yahoo! Sports has a pretty strong handle on what went down.

Basically, the NFL presented a bad faith offer to Kaepernick’s camp from the start, alerting reporters about the workout before even telling Kaepernick’s camp. They also stayed quiet on details as well as why they’d decided to suddenly offer him a shot at getting back into the league (though it was later said Jay-Z’s involvement with the league was an impetus).

Every though it certainly felt like a trap, or something akin to it, Kaepernick said he would attend and give it a go.

Saturday arrived and that’s when things devolved quickly. First, per Robinson, the NFL wanted Kaepernick to sign a waiver that went above and beyond the normal type of waiver that players usually sign for workouts.

Second, the NFL wanted sole rights to filming the workout and balked at Kaepernick’s camp wanting to film as well. That’s an understandable request given the circumstances and it’s not unthinkable to presume the NFL would withhold or even tweak footage in order to build a narrative.

And so, as the NFL was calling Kaepernick’s bluff, his team bluffed, canceled the workout, and organized one of their own an hour away. The speed at which all of that came together leads one to believe they had a feeling this was going to happen and planned accordingly.

“Because of recent decisions made by the NFL, the workout for Colin Kaepernick will be changing to an alternate location in Atlanta which will now start at 4:00 p.m.,” Kaepernick’s representatives said in a statement. “Further, all media will be invited to attend, and upon request be provided with the location.

“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset, the NFL league office has not provided one. Most recently, the NFL has demanded that as a precondition to the workout, Mr. Kaepernick sign an unusual liability waiver that addresses employment issues and rejected the standard liability waiver from physical injury proposed by Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives.

“Additionally, Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it, and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency. The NFL denied this request. Based on prior conduct by the NFL league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process, which is why a new location has been selected for today. Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”

And so, the workout moved to Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale where NFL team representatives were welcome to watch Colin play. The fact that the location is actually closer to the airport suggests there was some solid thought put into picking a spot that was hard to pass up.

Still, it sounds like at least some of the people who were lined up by the league are opting out.

So many lingering questions, not to mention Kaepernick has to go out there and perform on the football field in the middle of all this madness. He also will likely speak to media members who are now welcome at the workout. And it still might not make a difference. Clearly, the NFL was doing this to appease certain audiences or people and wasn’t in it for the redemption angle. They seem pretty fine letting Kaepernick hang out to dry. So it will be interesting to see where we go from here. Chances are the story of this day and what happens next will be talked about for some time to come.

[Charles Robinson/Adam Schefter]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to