There’s been something of a cone of silence over the NFL front office and the various teams when it comes to the subject of still-unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick. It seems as if everyone else on the planet who’s ever heard of the game of football is weighing in on whether or not his National Anthem protests hurt his chances for a starting position, but the league itself and the various teams have maintained a position of saying they judge every player on their ability to play the game. At least until now.
Word came out in the last week that the Ravens are shopping around for another QB, what with Joe Flacco fighting back trouble. And two names high up on the potential list are reported to be Kaepernick and RGIII. (USA Today)
Colin Kaepernick firmly remains an option for the Baltimore Ravens, owner Steve Bisciotti and team president Dick Cass said Sunday…
Former Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is also under consideration for a potential tryout, Bisciotti said. The former offensive rookie of the year worked out for the Los Angeles Chargers last week, but the team opted to trade for Cardale Jones as a likely backup to Philip Rivers.
The Ravens’ owner was peppered with the usual questions, but instead of pretending that all of this was happening in a vacuum, he came out and admitted that there were considerations above and beyond Kaepernick’s passing average. (NBC Sports)
The issue arose at a fan forum on Sunday, when someone asked Bisciotti whether he’s concerned that adding Kaepernick would hurt the team’s “brand.”
“We’ve very sensitive to it and we’re monitoring it, and we’re still, as [General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome] said, scrimmaging it,” Bisciotti said, via the team’s official website. “So pray for us.”
Bisciotti also addressed the inherent presumption within the question that signing someone who protested during the national anthem throughout 2016 would harm the team’s image.
It’s at least noteworthy to hear Bisciotti admit that the protests and his team’s brand were considerations in the decision. And how could they not be? Even though Kaepernick has finally taken a vow to stand for the Anthem this year if he gets a chance to play (after dragging his feet over it forever) he’s still something of a lightning rod for controversy. If people are angry enough about it and stop coming out to the stadium or ordering the Ravens’ swag to show their support, that’s the real bottom line that the owner and management care about.
But as far as Bisciotti is concerned, he doesn’t seem to be holding it against the guy. Or, at a minimum, he’s keeping his options open. He went on to make a point of saying that Kaepernick “has the right to do what he did.” He then added his approval of Colin switching from sitting to kneeling during the Anthem because Bisciotti is a Catholic and, “we spend a lot of time kneeling.”
If the Ravens are lucky this will turn out to be a non-issue. If Flacco is back in the line-up in time for week 1 they can probably avoid this mess altogether. A report from this weekend casts some doubt on that, however. Initially it was reported that Flacco would be out for seven days, but now that’s being stretched out to anywhere from three to six weeks, depending on how soon medical clears him to play. Back injuries are funny that way. If he is going to be out long enough to sideline him for the first games of the season, the Ravens will find themselves with a tough call to make. (And RGIII really isn’t looking like a much better option to be honest.)