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Fact check: Jacksonville Jaguars did not sign Colin Kaepernick

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The claim: Colin Kaepernick signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Amid the 2021 NFL offseason and free agents switching to new teams, social media posts have surfaced claiming the Jacksonville Jaguars signed former NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, 33, has not played in an NFL game since 2016, when he kneeled during pregame renditions of the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America. In 2017, he filed a grievance against the league, alleging NFL owners colluded to keep him out of professional football.

"BREAKING-Jaguars signing Colin Kaepernick to play running back," reads a May 23 Instagram post with more than 4,000 likes. Accompanying the text is an image of Kaepernick when he played for the San Francisco 49ers next to a photo of the Jaguars logo.

In the post's caption, the Instagram user who shared the meme claimed Urban Meyer, head coach for the Jaguars, is putting three quarterbacks on the field at the same time, making "quite the dynamic offense and kneeling competitions."

A similar version of the claim was shared on April 1 by a fake Meyer page.

"Good Morning Jaguars fans!! Great News! Welcome to the Jaguars QB Colin Kaepernick!" the post with more than 400 reactions reads. Users in the comments wrote, "This better be an April fools joke!"

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USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram user for comment. The Facebook page does not have a way to be contacted, however, its about page states: "Fan page, believe whatever you want."

Posts are satirical

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not sign Kaepernick. The posts are making a joke out of the team signing Tim Tebow.

The claim follows an ESPN report that the Jacksonville Jaguars were planning on signing Tebow to a one-year deal as a tight end, a position he has never played in his career.

The last time Tebow appeared in an NFL game was Dec. 30, 2012, when he played with the New York Jets, USA TODAY reported. Throughout his football career, Tebow has famously taken a knee in prayer before each game.

Reports of Tebow signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars sparked outrage from some football players, fans and activists, who implied the league was hypocritical for having Tebow return after an eight-year absence from football, while Kaepernick remains without a contract.

When the news broke, Kaepernick's name started trending on Twitter, where users made comparisons between the athletic careers of the two quarterbacks.

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It is also worth noting that the bio of the Instagram page that shared the post claiming the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Kaepernick reads: "This is a parody/satire page, mocking everything sports Don't take it seriously! #NFLmemes."

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Similarly, the fake Meyer Facebook page also likely shared the Kaepernick claim as an April Fools' joke.

Our rating: Satire

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not sign Kaepernick. The posts are mocking Tebow's return to the NFL after an eight-year absence from the sport. Some fans were upset with the NFL bringing back a quarterback to play a position he has never played before, while Kaepernick has not been signed. The bio of the page that shared the post further reveals the content shared on the page is a joke. We rate this claim as SATIRE.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Jacksonville Jaguars did not sign Colin Kaepernick