Colin Kaepernick is still a popular and polarizing figure not only in the NFL but worldwide. While many folks believe that Kaepernick is being ostracized from the NFL, one report seems to indicate that things may have been different if Kaepernick accepted a trade months before the 2016 season began.

Broncos wanted Kaepernick

John Elway knows his way around the football field, and he knows the ins and outs of the game better than most players ever did. The former two-time Super Bowl Champion Broncos star and now current GM in Denver said he reached out to Kaepernick two seasons ago, but the former 49ers signal caller turned him down.

With the Broncos in a bit of disarray at the quarterback position, Elway has made it clear that he has not ruled out the possibility of bringing in a veteran quarterback to backup Case Keenum this season. That said, Kaepernick reportedly said “thanks but no thanks” to an offer from the Broncos. The feisty Denver GM told the media at Denver’s practice that while he once wanted Kaepernick, that door has closed.

“I said this a while ago: Colin had his chance to be here,” Elway said during a training camp press conference on Thursday. “We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it.”

Elway referred to the 2016 offseason. The Broncos were fresh off of a Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers, but QB Peyton Manning was riding into the sunset.

Denver tried to trade for Kaepernick, who was under contract with the 49ers at the time. As reported by ESPN, the Broncos and Niners had a deal in place, but in the end, Kaepernick did not agree to a restructured contract with Denver, thus nixing the deal.

If the trade went through, barring an injury during training camp, Kaepernick would have surely been the Broncos' starting quarterback heading into the 2016-17 season.

Denver definitely had all the tools in place to make a run at back-to-back titles. The defense was one of the best in the NFL, and the offensive line was strong. Elway knew that with a veteran QB like Kaepernick leading the team, the Broncos would have been one tough squad that season.

Colin Kaepernick's future

Kaepernick, 30, may still have the skills to play in the NFL, but time is now against him.

No matter how much an athlete keeps in shape, being away from live action for an extended period of time can really work against you. It is heavily debated to this day whether a team should or should not give him a chance. In the Broncos’ case, it may be a case of sour grapes in terms of why GM John Elway won’t reach out to Kaepernick. Kaepernick’s last minute decision to nix the trade could still weigh on Elway’s mind.