Colin Kaepernick speaks out in 'I Am Athlete' about NFL return

In his first on-camera interview in years, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback talked about how badly he wants to play again in the league.
3:18 | 04/18/22

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Transcript for Colin Kaepernick speaks out in 'I Am Athlete' about NFL return
- Now to Colin Kaepernick, who is speaking out overnight, the quarterback talking with "I Am Athlete" about how badly he wants to return to the NFL. TJ Holmes is back with more on this. Good morning, TJ. - And, Stra, again, remember he has not thrown a pass in the NFL since January 1, 2017. We're talking about five plus years now. So it's fair to say we're not sure where he is and how good he could be on a football field. But we're also not really sure what he's thinking. He doesn't talk much, doesn't give a lot of interviews. Well, he took questions from some fellow athletes. And now we're hearing from him and he says now he just needs an opportunity to walk through a door. He'll handle the rest from there. In one of his first interviews in years, Colin Kaepernick says he still hopes to once again be an NFL quarterback. - Do you want to play football? - Absolutely. I mean that's without question. TJ HOLMES: This candid session takes place after the free agent quarterback had a training session with former NFL stars, Chad Ochocinco and Brandon Marshall. - What you saw here, that's five years of training behind the scenes to make sure I'm ready and stay ready at the highest level. You don't do that if you don't have a passion and you don't believe you're going to find a way on that field. TJ HOLMES: Kaepernick acknowledges that at this point he'd sign as a backup. - I know I have to find my way back in. So, yeah, if I have to come in as a backup, that's fine. But that's not where I'm-- that's not where I'm staying. TJ HOLMES: Kaepernick did secure one 2017 meeting with the Seattle Seahawks. But he's heard nothing in the five years since. He's even reached out to each team and participated in numerous public exhibitions. In his pursuit of a comeback, Kaepernick trained with Seattle wide receiver Aaron Fuller, threw with current NFL players, even passing for Scouts at the University of Michigan. - Let me come in, compete, show you what I can do. TJ HOLMES: The now 34-year-old is asking franchises and their GMs to see him as a no distractions team player. - The narrative that was out there was, oh, you know, it's going to be a media circus. What else comes with him? TJ HOLMES: Kaepernick helped carry San Francisco to the Super Bowl in 2013. But he's gone from player to activist, kneeling as the national debate over police brutality ignited and paid a price for his protest. Fans burned his number seven jersey. Kaepernick hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL since the 2016 season. But he's been busy, rolling out a Netflix series, "Colin in Black and White." He landed a lucrative Nike ad, landed on the USA Today bestseller list as a children's book author, and stayed in shape for the possibility of a contract to come. - You had those dreams from when you were a kid. I mean like, I'm going to be an NFL player and I'm going to win a Super Bowl. And for me I have unfinished business on that front. - And you can see more of that interview in the full episode, "I Am Athlete" on YouTube today at noon Eastern. And guys remember, it was September, 2016 when he took a knee for the first time. That was his last season in the NFL, that season that he did that. He's 34 now. We were just talking, he stays in shape. He hasn't played in a while. But you said this guy could still perform probably. - Yeah, if you look-- if he wants to come in as a backup, I think he definitely could win a spot on a team in the NFL. - You think it's the politics-- oh, go ahead. - No, no, that's all. - You think it's the politics, not his ability. TJ HOLMES: Oh, absolutely. MICHAEL STRAHAN: Oh, no doubt. I think that's pretty obvious. - OK, thank you, TJ. TJ HOLMES: Yeah, guys.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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