Colin Kaepernick wrote a letter to New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas asking Douglas to consider signing him to the practice squad, multi-platinum rapper J. Cole revealed Tuesday.
Cole shared an Instagram post Tuesday featuring the letter the quarterback wrote Douglas, dated Sept. 21. Kaepernick said that he can help add depth after four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1.
"I know the aspirations this season were, and still are, to win a championship, and so that Hall of Fame sized hole will need to be filled as best as possible to keep the team on a Super Bowl track," Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick emphasized he does not want to compete with Zach Wilson for the starting job as head coach Robert Saleh has expressed commitment to the 24-year-old despite Wilson's inconsistent play. The letter was publicized a day after Jets legend Joe Namath blasted Wilson.
"I understand the importance of keeping him confident and focused as QB1," Kaepernick said, "and I would only look to boost that confidence in any interactions that we may have if given this role within the team. ... In a perfect world for the Jets, Zach Wilson finds his stride and shows that he is able to lead this championship caliber team that you've put together to the Super Bowl. I believe a confident Zach Wilson has the tools to do this."
Cole is credited with giving Caron Butler the tip to sign Caleb Martin to the Miami Heat. The guard helped the team power its way to the NBA Finals. The rapper, who is part of the new ownership group of the Charlotte Hornets, said that Kaepernick was "reluctant" to let him post the letter, but after sharing his intentions, the quarterback agreed to make it public.
"My argument was that I believe the people and all organizations should know the truth about how hard he works and how much he still wants to play," Cole said in the post's caption. "And always has. ... I saw the heartbreak of every Jets fan when Arod went down @richeisen Everyone from players, to coaches, to execs are feeling the pressure I’m sure. I hope y’all can turn it around, and I hope there’s a spot out there for my boy Kap."
The Jets reportedly signed veteran Trevor Siemian on Tuesday after Sunday's home loss to the New England Patriots. Kaepernick said that he is seeking a different role than most veterans would offer.
"I know that there are currently depth issues at the position, and I've heard that the back-up spot is likely to be filled by a veteran Quarterback. As much as I would love the opportunity to fill that spot, I'm writing you in hopes that you can imagine a much different approach involving me; I would be honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity to come in and lead the practice squad," he said. "I would do this with the sole mission of getting your defense ready each week."
Kaepernick said that he would be especially effective in helping the defense, which includes last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner, prepare for utility threats. The Jets play Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, and Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles their next three games.
Kaepernick said he also sees the opportunity as a chance to prove himself. He hasn't played in the NFL since 2016. He led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013. LeBron James claimed the league blackballed him for his political statements, including kneeling during the national anthem. Without a job as a quarterback, he's continued his social justice work, including producing the docuseries "Killing County." He lists former 49ers head coaches Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis as references. The Raiders held a workout with Kaepernick last year.
Kaepernick told Douglas that the team really has nothing to lose in signing him.
"Worst case scenario, you see what I have to offer and you're not that impressed. Best case scenario, you realize you have a real weapon at your disposal in the event you ever need to use it," he said. "In either of these scenarios, I would be committed to getting your defense ready week in and week out, all season long, and I would wear that responsibility with a badge of honor."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colin Kaepernick wrote letter to Jets asking for practice squad role