Colin Kaepernick

North Notes: Bengals, Bradford, Packers

A “near mutiny” helped induce the Bengals to fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after two games. Although Andy Dalton‘s job is not believed to be in jeopardy as of now, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the leash might not be especially long for the seventh-year starter. And some Cincinnati players might not all be on board with a simple A.J. McCarron succession strategy. While it would certainly be an off-the-board choice, Florio hears some Bengals players are expressing support for a Colin Kaepernick signing.

The UFA passer has been the NFL’s most discussed player this offseason despite not being affiliated with a team. McCarron’s been a Bengal since 2014 but has never threatened Dalton’s job security, only seeing relevant action after a Dalton injury in 2015. Kaepernick said recently he does want to return to the NFL, and has been training daily for a potential chance. Many players have publicly endorsed the 29-year-old quarterback receiving an opportunity. A Bengals route might be a stretch, though, considering McCarron’s status.

Dalton currently sits on a 55 percent completion percentage and a 0-to-4 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio. The Bengals have not scored a touchdown in two games and have posted just nine points.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions.

  • The Vikings played without Sam Bradford on Sunday, and the Case Keenum-led team lost to the Steelers. Bradford’s knee injury has him at day-to-day for the time being, but Florio hears the quarterback’s injured knee is “structurally fine.” Mike Zimmer used “fine” to describe Bradford’s status (Twitter link), even though the coach was vague in setting a return timetable. Any further game absences would signal the eighth-year signal-caller is, in fact, not fine.
  • Green Bay will be playing without both starting tackles tonight in Atlanta. Longtime Packers starters David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga will miss the Falcons tilt, the team announced. Bulaga missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury suffered during preseason play. A hamstring malady will shelve Bakhtiari. Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray will start, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. A fourth-year UDFA, McCray has yet to play in an NFL game.
  • The Bears will not deviate at quarterback despite Mike Glennon‘s struggles, John Fox said today. Fox shot down the idea Mitch Trubisky would start in Week 3 for the 0-2 team. Glennon threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a blowout against his former team in Week 2.
  • The Ravens received the toughest blow of any North-division team Sunday, losing Marshal Yanda for the season.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has been criticized by some for not publicly stating his desire to play in the NFL. On Sunday, Kaepernick broke his silence and made his intentions clear. NFL: San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers

Yes,” Kaepernick said when asked by Shaun King of the Daily News (Twitter link) if he wants to play . “I’ve never stopped. I’m ready right now. Working out daily.

Kaepernick is reportedly working out five days a week and is back to his 2013 weight of 230 pounds. This offseason, the 29-year-old was knocked for his slender frame and for not announcing that he wants to get back into football. He has now checked those boxes, but it’s not clear if or when he will get an opportunity to play. It’s possible that Kaepernick could get a call from a contending club in the event of an injury, but that would require him to learn someone’s playbook on the fly.

For now, it sounds like it’s NFL-or-bust for Kaepernick. But, if the NFL doesn’t come calling and he has a change of heart, he could have a place on the Montreal Alouettes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colin Kaepernick’s CFL Rights Go From One Team To Another

It’s not clear how or when this happened, but Colin Kaepernick‘s CFL rights have been transferred from one team to another. At one point, his rights were held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Now, the Montreal Alouettes have dibs on him if he ever plays in the CFL, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). "<strong

La Canfora adds the rather obvious caveat of “not that he’s going,” but were the 29-year-old quarterback be interested in a CFL path, it appears Montreal would be his destination.

This news comes after La Canfora reported Johnny Manziel has a legitimate path to the Tiger-Cats. So it appears a Manziel-to-Hamilton route has formed, while a Kaepernick-to-Montreal path seems much less likely.

ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert reported in March the Tiger-Cats acquired Kaepernick’s rights, with both he and Robert Griffin III residing on the team’s exclusive negotiation list.

Kaepernick has been a free agent since he opted out of his 49ers contract; the team would have released him had he not done so. A visit with the Seahawks did not produce a contract, and not much has emerged on a Kaepernick NFL job since. Although, that subject’s produce plenty of ire, and protests, due to the number of less accomplished quarterbacks currently on teams’ rosters.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Kap, Savage, Browner, Johnson

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is working out five days a week and is back to his 2013 weight, 230 pounds, as he awaits a potential NFL opportunity, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. Thanks partially (perhaps entirely) to his social activism, Kaepernick hasn’t garnered a single offer since he and the 49ers parted ways in March. While the 29-year-old would like to resume his career, he’s not saying it publicly because he worries that doing so would lead to further claims that he’s a distraction, Florio suggests.

More from around the game:

  • After insisting throughout the offseason that Tom Savage would be their starting quarterback in 2017, the Texans bailed on him just one half into a 29-7 Week 1 loss to Jacksonville in which their offensive line imploded. The Texans have since turned the reins over to first-round rookie Deshaun Watson, a decision Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, spoke with Florio about on Wednesday. As you’d expect, Schwartz isn’t pleased with the move. “I watched all 31 plays, because that was the extent of what Tom saw in the first half,” Schwartz said. “And I can’t figure out why he’s benching Tom. I went through every single play and I even went one step further. I asked two different NFL personnel people (or) coaches on two separate teams to evaluate and break down the film to see if I was missing something. He went 7 for 13 … 12 of the 13 balls touched the receiver’s hands. The only ball that didn’t was the strip-sack fumble that they called incomplete (upon replay). Seven were completions, five were drops” (all of Schwartz’s comments are available here via the Houston Chronicle’s Greg Rajan). Schwartz does have the backing of Pro Football Focus, which ranked Savage’s season-opening performance 15th among 31 signal-callers. Watson came in last.
  • Having not played in the NFL since his dreadful 2015 showing in New Orleans, free agent cornerback Brandon Browner is obviously facing an uphill battle to return to the league. The odds of the ex-Seahawks star making a comeback look even worse now, as Browner was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday on felony charges of making criminal threats to a woman, TMZ reports. The two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t drawn any known interest since the Seahawks released him in August 2016 (even after playing in the the Spring League this year), and that probably isn’t going to change.
  • The Cardinals are hoping to get running back David Johnson “back by Thanksgiving or Christmas,” coach Bruce Arians told SiriusXM. The initial word on Johnson’s wrist injury has been that he could be out for two to three months. Arians’ timetable seems to jibe with that.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Coughlin: Jaguars Never Interested In Kaepernick

When the Jaguars opened up their quarterback competition in August (only to close it again one week later), there was some speculation that Jacksonville could look into signing free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick. That speculation was fueled in part by club owner Shad Khan, who said that he would “absolutely” be okay with his team signing Kaepernick if his football people recommended him.

Colin Kaepernick (vertical)

That never happened, and when Blake Bortles was named the starting quarterback last week, the Kaepernick-to-Jacksonville chatter, such as it was, died down. But unless Bortles flashes some hitherto unsuspected ability, the Jaguars will still have a glaring need at the quarterback position. Indeed, the club has enough talent that it could conceivably make a playoff push in a shaky AFC South if it can get consistent QB play, and some believe that Kaepernick would represent enough of an upgrade to get the Jags back to the postseason.

However, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin has emphatically quashed the Kaepernick discussion. When asked if he ever considered Kaepernick, Coughlin said, “No, I didn’t. We did the study and the research and we weren’t interested.” When asked for his reasoning, Coughlin said, “No, I’m not explaining it. I just said what it is” (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union).

Of course, this will be construed in some segments as an unenlightened decision to decline adding a player that might improve the club because that player took advantage of his freedom of expression and alienated a large portion of the NFL’s fanbase in the process. And maybe that segment would be right. But Coughlin is an intelligent football man, and as Kaepernick is a system quarterback whose salary demands and current commitment to football are largely unknown, it is fair to think that Coughlin’s decision was football-driven.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Luck, Colts, Manziel, Kaepernick, RG3

In speaking with reporters on Thursday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay indicated that Andrew Luck is unlikely to suit up for Week 1, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (Twitter link). Interestingly, Irsay also insinuated that the matter is now more in Luck’s head rather than his shoulder.

Whether it’s mental or not, it sounds like the Colts will be without their No. 1 QB when they face the Rams on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, the Rams could be without their best defensive player.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Johnny Manziel‘s recent audition for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats went well enough for the team to maintain interest in the troubled quarterback. Manziel and the Tiger-Cats continue to discuss a contract, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Manziel “very much wants” to sign with the Tiger-Cats or another Canadian club, as he regards the CFL as a good avenue to return to competitive football, a source suggested to Fowler. Hamilton owns Manziel’s CFL rights, and if he decides to immigrate to that league, the Tiger-Cats would have a 10-day window to sign the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner or trade him. The 24-year-old Manziel last played in a game on Dec. 27, 2015, when he was with the Browns.
  • Speaking of high-profile, out-of-work signal-callers, NFL teams are not blackballing Colin Kaepernick over his political activism, anonymous executives and a coach who spoke with Albert Breer of The MMQB insist. The general belief among the group is that both Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III would have jobs if teams believed they could truly help. There are worse QBs (particularly backups) around the league than those two, but clubs are more comfortable with how their current reserves fit their offenses than either Kaepernick or RG3 would.
  • It would have been “negligent” for Pittsburgh to not look into signing cornerback Joe Haden after the Browns released him Wednesday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters, including Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Steelers added Haden shortly after the Browns parted with the eighth-year man. While Haden’s effectiveness has faded in recent seasons, the Steelers regard him as a “capable starter” and the type of player who’s not typically available in late August, per Colbert.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Kap, Eagles, Aguayo, Brooks

With Nick Foles battling an elbow injury that has kept him out of preseason action and Matt McGloin having such a subpar summer that he’s likely to lose his roster spot, the Eagles may have a backup quarterback problem. They could potentially solve it by signing free agent Colin Kaepernick, Mike Sielski of Philly.com contends. Kaepernick remains unemployed in part because owners don’t want to deal with the backlash that would accompany signing the political activist, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the Eagles. After all, owner Jeffrey Lurie signed Mike Vick as a backup QB in 2009, after he served an 18-month prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring. While it’s up for debate whether Kaepernick is in the right, Vick’s actions were undeniably revolting. And yet he was able to land a second chance in Philadelphia.

More from Philly and two other NFC cities:

  • Second-year kicker Roberto Aguayo‘s struggles have transferred from Tampa Bay to Chicago, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com writes. Aguayo, whom the Bears claimed off waivers from the Buccaneers on Aug. 13, missed a 49-yard field goal in his preseason debut with Chicago last week and, according to head coach John Fox, had a rough practice Friday. “I think our kicker had a little bit of a struggle today in some of his field goals, but it was something we knew about Roberto,” Fox said. “He’s got a very strong leg; he needs to work on his accuracy. That’s why we’re out here practicing.” Fox added that the Bears will spend the next week-plus working to help Aguayo turn around his fortunes. Otherwise, given that he’s competing with Connor Barth, Aguayo could find himself on waivers again. That would be a stunning turn of events for a kicker who was not only a second-round pick in 2016, but someone the Buccaneers also surrendered a third- and fourth-rounder for when they traded up to select the ex-Florida State standout.
  • It appeared Eagles defensive lineman Beau Allen would miss the first few weeks of the regular season when he suffered a chest injury in April. That won’t be the case, though, as Allen passed a physical Friday and came off the active/PUP list, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The three-year veteran is now in position to keep his iron man streak alive, as he has never missed a game during his career. The return of Allen will further bolster a strong D-line and give the Eagles a player who was on the field for 554 snaps last year (412 on defense, 142 on special teams).
  • The 49ers released linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Friday rather than closer to the Sept. 2 deadline because they wanted to give him a better chance to hook on elsewhere before the season opens, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters (via Mike Florio Pro Football Talk). “Doing it right now is more just in the best interest for Ahmad,” Shanahan said. “It’s a real tough decision. [General Manager] John [Lynch] and I had gone back and forth with it the last few days. Once we really came to the conclusion he wasn’t going to be a part of our final 53, we weren’t going to keep him around just to let him know [eight] days from now. So, we know there’s a lot of teams that will be interested in him. So we gave him that opportunity to go out and find them.” Brooks should indeed draw interest in free agency, having posted no fewer than five sacks in any of his eight seasons with the 49ers. He also missed just eight games during that span.

Jaguars Owner Open To Signing Kaepernick

Jaguars owner Shad Khan says he would be “absolutely” be okay with his team adding Colin Kaepernick if his football people recommended signing him (Twitter links via Mike Dempsey of 1010XL). To date, those football people have yet to show much interest in signing the controversial quarterback. Colin Kaepernick (vertical)

[RELATED: Latest On Blake Bortles]

Some have argued that the Jaguars should take a look at Kaepernick given that Blake Bortles‘ struggles have left Chad Henne as the team’s likely frontrunner for the starting job. But, so far, the Jaguars have not shown interest in adding any free agent quarterback to the mix.

Kaepernick might not interest chief decision maker Tom Coughlin given his football-first mentality and distaste for potential locker room distractions. Also, Coughlin’s offenses have historically been built around pocket passers. Still, it’s notable that Khan has publicly said that he would give the green light to a Kaepernick deal and things could always change in the front office if Henne or Bortles can’t cut it as the starter.

On Thursday, we learned that the Jaguars could look to trade Bortles (if he’s willing to rework his contract) or just release him outright. If Bortles were to suffer a serious injury on the field this season, the Jags would be on the hook for his $19MM+ fifth-year option in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick

If the league office really wants Colin Kaepernick to be employed, they have ways to make a team sign him, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Florio points to the league’s efforts to get Michael Sam, the league’s first openly gay draft pick, on to a practice squad three years ago. Ultimately, after making a number of calls, the Cowboys agreed to give Sam a gig.

The NFL has been known to make wink-wink deals with teams when they want to get something done, and the league could encourage a team to sign Kaepernick by promising a future chance to host the Super Bowl or an exemption from having to do HBO’s Hard Knocks or something similar. But, with the season opener rapidly closing in, it remains to be seen whether commissioner Roger Goodell will pull some strings to get Kaepernick a contract.

Here’s the latest on No. 7:

  • Mike Sando of ESPN.com spoke with a number of coaches and talent evaluators to try and get some insight on the Kaepernick situation. Multiple people indicated that they are unsure about Kaepernick’s commitment to football since they have not heard from him directly. “Everyone else is worried about him working, but I never hear him say how much he wants to work,” this voter said. “That hits a chord. People want to hear, ‘I want to work in the league, I want to work for you, I want to do this more than anything.’ It’s like with Tim Tebow — he’d rather be on the outside switching sports than be relegated to the [third team] and getting 20 percent of the reps.” Some also indicated that a similarly talented player playing a different position would have been signed by now. Kaepernick is left waiting, some say, because teams expect leadership from quarterbacks and there is fear that his personal agenda could come ahead of the team’s overall purpose.
  • There was a sizable rally outside of NFL headquarters this week in support of Kaepernick, but the commissioner informed the “United We Stand” coalition that he could not meet at this time (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson). Although the group was unable to have an audience with Goodell, the rally did succeed in generating a great deal of media attention. The buzz generated from the rally may put some additional pressure on the league office to find Kaepernick a team for 2017.
  • The NFLPA has been in contact with Kaepernick’s reps.

NFLPA Talking With Colin Kaepernick’s Reps

Colin Kaepernick continues to search for work and the players’ union has taken a special interest in his pursuit of a contract. Union chief DeMaurice Smith says that he has been in constant contact with the quarterback’s representatives. Colin Kaepernick (vertical)

We stand supporting our player, as we always have,” Smith told Albert Breer of The MMQB (video link). “We’ve been in touch, we haven’t stopped being in touch with his agents and his representatives and it’s important for the union to consistently balance the issues, needs, desires of an individual player against the issues and objectives of the collective player.”

Smith responded in the affirmative when asked if he finds Kaepernick’s outspoken approach to be admirable. Naturally, not everyone agrees and Kaepernick still finds himself in limbo even as several teams have serious question marks under center. The Ravens publicly flirted with the idea of signing Kaepernick earlier this month, but we haven’t heard anything on that front even as Joe Flacco recovers from a sore back and Ryan Mallett continues to struggle in practice. The Jaguars, meanwhile, seem poised to give the starting QB job to Chad Henne over Blake Bortles, but they’re not in pursuit of Kaepernick or any other free agent signal caller.

Time has not necessarily run out for Kaepernick to sign with a team, but he won’t have enough time to learn anyone’s playbook in time for the start of the season. The season begins when the Patriots face the Chiefs on September 7 – just over two weeks from today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.