Q&A: Alouettes’ Kavis Reed talks Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick isn’t saying much these days.

Most of his talking is being done for him as players on every NFL team displayed some sort of demonstration last weekend in the wake of President Donald Trump calling players that kneel during the national anthem “sons of b——.”

The attack by Trump has actually given momentum to the Kaepernick movement as #ImWithKap was trending last Sunday. While the change in attitude towards him hasn’t turned into a roster spot in the NFL, he does have options in the CFL if he so chooses.

The three-win Montreal Alouettes are less concerned with his politics and more concerned with if the six-year NFL veteran can still play.

Kaepernick was added to the Alouettes’ negotiation list a month ago after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dropped him off of theirs. The Montreal Gazette first reported that GM and interim head coach Kavis Reed reached out to gauge Kaepernick’s interest in playing north of the border. Reed explained his thought process in making the call and what ownership’s involvement in the pursuit of Kaepernick has been.

Sportsnet – What was the thought process behind reaching out to Colin Kaepernick’s representatives now?

Kavis Reed – I just put in a call to see what his status is. That was all that was about. He’s on our negotiation list. That is well documented. A lot of high-profile players are on a number of teams’ negotiation list. For us, Colin is one of those guys and we wanted to make certain, just like the remaining 42 that we currently have, we’ve inquired. They are eligible to be talked to and talked about, we have done that. The ones that are not eligible we haven’t had any communication but every person that is on our negotiation list that we can contact we have done so and the same with Colin Kaepernick.

SN – Did you get any feedback as to what his appetite to come to the CFL would be?

KR – There was no feedback because I did not get to ask those questions and I did not ask those questions. It was just a general inquiry and give me a call back if there is anything. It was not a discussion in depth about Colin Kaepernick. It was just reaching out to say “Hey, the Montreal Alouettes would like to know whether or not Colin Kaepernick is in the state of playing football and would like to play in Canada.” That’s all the question was.

SN – Do you have any sense of how likely he’d be willing to play in Canada?

KR – None. None.

SN – Is it fair to say you reached out to his representatives and didn’t get an initial answer and haven’t heard back since?

KR – Yes.

SN – Was the inquiry in hopes for him to join for the remainder of this year or was it in reference to next year?

KR – You’re essentially just seeing if there is interest and then you can take it to a next level. As for aspirations, anyone on the neg list you aspire to have on your football team. That’s the purpose of having them. But in this particular case it is if there is an outside possibility, which we don’t have validation for either way. Then we would look at when and where do we make that move but at this time it is not even in the first stages of conversation.

SN – Colin Kaepernick brings with him a level of scrutiny that the average player on the negotiation list does not. Was this solely a football operations decision or was ownership involved?

KR – It’s accurate that when you’re getting to the level of Colin Kaepernick and conversation about him and the star power that he brings and the publicity and the attention that he brings, yes it affects the brand. Any decision that I’ve made that affects the brand I’ve discussed with our president and our ownership. That is the way it should be and that is the way I insist that it be because we are all responsible for promoting and protecting the brand called the Montreal Alouettes. This conversation about Colin Kaepernick or whoever that has the type of respect will be discussed at every level.

SN – Was ownership made aware before he was put on the neg list or kept abreast afterwards?

KR – It was discussed prior to be putting on the neg list. That’s part of proper communication. Although the neg list is supposed to be secret and private and confidential, we all know that it doesn’t stay confidential. So with the possibility of this being made public it was important that all three levels had the conversation so we were comfortable with the decision.

SN – Given that it may become public did you alert any members of your team that this could become a story?

No. And the reason why is we have six other quarterbacks on our negotiation list and those six other quarterbacks are more likely to join our organization than Colin Kaepernick. You can’t ask the quarterbacks to be a part of this and then treat them differently than any other positional group. That’s why I did not feel and do not feel it necessary to burden them with this type of information about our negotiation list. Again, that is supposed to be confidential to begin with. Secondarily, we have six guys on the neg list at the running back position, we have 12 guys at the receiver position. We can’t constantly be saying to guys “these guys are a part of our negotiation list, be aware that this name might come out.” No, that defeats the purpose if we do it that way.