When is the last time an NFL team issued a statement saying its owner isn’t preventing the general manager and coach from signing a player?
That’s just what the Baltimore Ravens did Wednesday.
“We are going through a process and have not made a decision,’’ the statement said. “Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making these claims is wrong.’’
That is just one more example that the Kaepernick story isn’t going away any time soon.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini had reported that general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh support signing Kaepernick but have met resistance from Bisciotti.
Instead of just ignoring the report or saying they don’t comment on rumors, the Ravens felt they had to issue a denial.
“I do not have an update on Colin Kaepernick,’’ Harbaugh said Wednesday. “I’ll frame that this way. There are other positions we’re looking at too, and I don’t have any updates on those either. I think they’re all in the same category.’’
Of course, they’re not. The other positions aren’t quarterback and the other players being considered aren’t Kaepernick, who has seemingly been boycotted by the NFL for refusing to stand for the national anthem last year even though he has said he won’t do that this year.
The Kaepernick-to-Baltimore speculation started when starter Joe Flacco was sidelined with a back injury. It increased when backup Ryan Mallett threw five interceptions in a practice last Friday. Especially since John’s brother, Jim Harbaugh, coached Kaepernick in San Francisco and is still a big supporter of his.
Bisciotti said Sunday at a fan forum, “We do want to win games, and I’ m not sure (Kaepernick) is going to help us to do that. We’re monitoring Joe. We’ve talked to Joe about it. We’re monitoring Mallett and keeping our door open. We’ve talked about RG3 (Robert Griffin III) and bringing him in for a workout.’’
He also said he didn’t like Kaepernick’s anthem protest and said signing him would “upset some people.’’
A fan had asked him if signing Kaepernick would hurt the team’s “brand.’’
Their brand? This is the team that tried to keep Ray Rice until the second video became public. They didn’t poll their fans about that.
“Your opinions matter to us,’’ Bisciotti said. “We’re very sensitive about it.’’
Team president Dick Cass said they were reaching out to fans and sponsors about Kaepernick.
Bisciotti even said, “Pray for us.’’ What? Pray for them? They’re not trying to rescue the troops at Dunkirk. They’re just making a football decision.
Giants co-owner John Mara recently said fans sent him many letters saying they wouldn’t buy tickets if they signed Kaepernick. Since when do NFL teams poll the fans on personnel decisions?
The Ravens did sign journeyman Josh Woodrum, who hasn’t played in an NFL game, Monday and cut David Olson three days after signing him. ESPN said they are no longer interested in Griffin but are interesting in Aaron Murray.
But all the Ravens’ public musings about Kaepernick have made them look like they don’t know what to do.
The decision is simple. He’s the best quarterback available. They need to stop talking about it and just sign him.
The Ravens have a reputation for having a well-run organization. It’s time to start acting like one.