The Ravens were reportedly interested in signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick before the 2017 campaign, but a high-ranking U.S. military official may have been part of squashing the club’s plans to meet with the signal-caller, according to TMZ Sports. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh consulted with several friends while his team was discussing Kaepernick, and one such friend — the unnamed official — “cautioned” Harbaugh about the former 49ers signal-caller. While the official did not tell Harbaugh not to sign Kaepernick, he did indicate the Ravens should give Kaepernick a “set of specific guidelines to follow” in order to remain employed. Kaepernick, of course, was the progenitor of kneeling for the national anthem as a form of silent protest. After passing on Kaepernick, Baltimore went on to sign journeyman Thad Lewis to serve as depth behind starter Joe Flacco.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- Lions center Travis Swanson is headed towards free agency, and it’s conceivable his reported late-season concussion could be a red flag for interested teams. However, Swanson’s representatives claim that he didn’t actually suffer a concussion in 2017, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. Instead, Swanson says a bad reaction to the medicine he was given to treat his (non) concussion was the source of his symptoms. The 27-year-old pivot has a medical note to back up his version of the story, but the Lions are sticking by the original injury report that landed Swanson on injured reserve prior to Week 17. Thus far, both the Jets and Dolphins have expressed preliminary interest in Swanson, who offers 42 games worth of starting experience.
- At least one unidentified NFL team has Louisville’s Lamar Jackson rated as the draft’s No. 2 quarterback prospect, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2016, is generally listed behind Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen is consensus rankings, but it sounds as though at least one team prefers Jackson to many of those signal-callers. Some teams reportedly had interest in working out Jackson as a receiver at the combine, but he declined to take part in non-quarterback drills.
- The upcoming season is likely to be a “make-or-break” campaign for Redskins president Bruce Allen, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Washington has had its fair share of turnover — in the front office, on the coaching staff, and on the roster — during Allen’s tenure, but he’s managed to stick around since 2009. During that time, the Redskins have posted a disappointing 52-75-1 record. Additionally, the club has lost respected general manager Scot McCloughan (reportedly because of a rift with Allen), and will not re-sign franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins.
- The NFL’s scouting combine will remain in Indianapolis through at least 2020, but the function’s long-term location is unclear, writes Mike Chappell of FOX59. While speculation has arisen that Los Angeles or Las Vegas could be the combine’s next home, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk indicates Indianapolis is considered ideal given that every part of the event — meetings, workouts, medical testing — to be located within a small radius.