Dolphins' Kenny Stills: Colin Kaepernick 'wants to play ... deserves to play'

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills was happy to see safety Eric Reid finally get signed by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, but he lamented that Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job despite a desire to get back in the NFL.

Stills spoke with Kaepernick on Thursday morning, before the Reid signing, and the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback reiterated his desire and readiness to play.

"I said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'Just came from a workout. I'm ready to go,'" Stills said after Thursday's practice. "He wants to play. He's good enough to play. He deserves to play. I'm not sure why a team hasn't signed him yet."

Stills is one of two players, along with fellow Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson, who still kneels during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice. Stills and four other Dolphins players spent Tuesday riding along with the Broward County Sheriff's Office and speaking to youth about the relationship between police and the community.

Stills said earlier this offseason that a good first step for the NFL to show its contrition would be to "admit what it is doing" to Kaepernick and Reid, then allow them back in the NFL.

On Thursday, Stills' emotions were mixed. He was happy with the progress shown with the Reid signing, but mentioned he wouldn't be satisfied until Kaepernick returned.

"I'm happy that Eric is going to be playing. He's a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball," Stills told ESPN. "I'm excited to see him play. I definitely think he should have been signed a long time ago. As far as what it means, it means a team was finally able to look past the protest. I think we're making some progress as far as how the owners, teams and GMs are understanding what the protest is about."

"That's progress, but we still have one of the best quarterbacks in the league sitting at home waiting to be signed. That'll be the ultimate say of how people look back on the NFL at this point in time. You got one of the best guys not playing on a team and there are teams out there that need quarterbacks."

Reid had been on the market since he became a free agent in March 2018; Kaepernick has been a free agent since March 2017.

Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem. Stills followed shortly thereafter, once the 2016 season began.