As fall practice begins, most NFL teams have their rosters set.
The top free agents have been scooped up, and rookies have signed their contracts. However, one notable name is still twisting in the wind.
Controversial quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still without a home, but that could be changing soon.
In light of a recent injury to Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens appear open to signing the divisive signal-caller.
From Bleacher Report:
Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco believes fellow QB Colin Kaepernick deserves another chance in the NFL and said he’d welcome him to the organization.
On Friday, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com passed along comments from Flacco, who light-heartedly talked about Kaepernick not getting another chance to start if he joined the Ravens, though.
“I would like to see Colin get back in [the NFL], and at some point, maybe get another shot [to be a starter],” he said. “I wouldn’t like that to be here. I do not want him to get another shot [to be a starter] here, but yes, he can come here and have some fun. I think it would be a good spot for him.”
While Baltimore was awaiting further information about the extent of Flacco’s back problem, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed he’s been in contact with Kaepernick on a casual basis during the offseason, per Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today.
“He and I have been talking throughout the summer a number of times,” he said. “We had some great conversations on the phone and it’s really been a pleasure to talk to him and get to know him. I like history and politics too, and we’ve had some debates, and it’s been fun. And he’s a great guy.”
Harbaugh added: “He’s a guy right now that’s being talked about. We’ll see what happens with that. Only speculation right now. He’s a really good football player and like I said, I do believe he’ll be playing in the National Football League this year.”
Kaepernick remains the league’s most high-profile free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. He made national headlines last season for his decision to kneel during the national anthem, making him one of the most polarizing figures in sports.
In March, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported the quarterback would stand for the national anthem if he was signed for the 2017 season.
It’s unclear if the Ravens are still considering Kaepernick now that it sounds like Flacco isn’t dealing with a serious injury, barring a setback. He would likely battle Ryan Mallett for backup duties during training camp and the preseason if added to the roster.
Flacco’s comments, even though they were in jest, underscore the key issue with signing Kaepernick. No starting quarterback likes to have his job threatened, especially when the backup is highly visible and has support behind him.
Fox Sports 1’s Skip Bayless is the canary in the coal mine for the quarterback discussions wherever Kaepernick goes:
I would give the Ravens a little better chance to go farther with Colin Kaepernick as their QB than Joe Flacco.” – @RealSkipBayless https://t.co/nOKPJHMQIR
If Flacco struggles at all, the chatter will start that Kaepernick needs to get a chance, which could breed discord in the locker room.
More talented teams have been fractured by less.
The fact the Ravens are led by the older brother of Kaepernick’s former head coach, Jim Harbaugh, gives him a rare ally, but it may not be enough to supersede the other question marks he brings.