When will the NFL realize the Kaepernick issue isn’t going away?

Most of my younger readers have probably never heard of Frank Serpico.

He was a New York City police officer whose campaign against police corruption was chronicled in the 1973 movie “Serpico.’’ He was played by Al Pacino. It’s a very good movie, by the way.

Anyway, it turns out Serpico is now 81 and still an idealist.

He turned out at a rally Saturday of about 75 mostly minority police officers who gathered in Brooklyn wearing black shirts reading “imwithkap.’’

Kap, of course, is Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who remains unsigned after refusing to stand for the national anthem last year.

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Despite the rhetoric, don’t count on an NFL lockout or strike

The saber-rattling between the NFLPA and NFL has already started, even though the current labor deal runs until 2020.

Some players have already starting tweeting about their salaries not matching NBA salaries.

And NFLPA head De Smith told The MMQB that a lockout or strike is a virtual certainty in 2021.

The rhetoric, though, doesn’t match the reality.

I doubt there will be a lockout or strike.

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Full-time officials is just another PR ploy by Goodell & Co.

The NFL’s announcement that it will hire up to 24 full-time officials is a good PR move. It gives the league a chance to show fans that it’s trying to improve the quality of the officiating.

But don’t be fooled. Even making all the officials full-time wouldn’t make much difference.

The other major sports have full-time officials — and their officials make mistakes all the time. Remember, they’re human beings. Coaches and players make mistakes all the time. To think officials aren’t going to make mistakes is downright foolish.

NFL officials tend to get more scrutiny than officials in other sports because the regular season lasts just 16 games and teams play only once a week, so fans and the media can spend several days talking about a blown call.

Baseball teams usually play the next day — and the next … and the next — so the debate about a blown call doesn’t last as long.

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With Coughlin being Coughlin, Marrone already looks like a short-timer

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is facing an unusual dynamic this season that no NFL coach has ever faced.

He’s got Tom Coughlin as his boss.

Coughlin, who built the most successful NFL expansion team ever in his first tenure with the Jaguars, is back this year in a new role.

He’s the executive vice president of football operations, but he’s not the coach.

In his first stint with the Jaguars, Coughlin also ran the show, but he was the coach. So Coughlin couldn’t second-guess himself.

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Here’s hoping Kessler lawsuit blows up the NCAA’s corrupt system

“The NCAA’s Worst Nightmare’’ the headline on the HuffPost website blared over the weekend.

It turns out the site feels the NCAA’s nightmare is longtime sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who is continuing his legal assault on the NCAA’s gameplan of making billions of dollars without paying the players more than the alleged cost of attending college.

In effect, Kessler is trying to change the system and force the colleges to give the players more compensation.

It’s likely to be a long legal fight that will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, although the NCAA has managed to all but continue the status quo despite some recent legal hits.

First, Ed O’Bannon won his lawsuit last October in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that found the NCAA was violating antitrust law. The Supreme Court let the decision stand.

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Horrific practice underscores Bortles’ shaky status with Jaguars

Ryan Mallett of the Baltimore Ravens showed Friday that quarterbacks sometimes have a meltdown in training camp.

He threw “at least five interceptions,’’ according to reports from the Ravens’ training camp, and almost threw two more.

“Tell (offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg) to tell Mallett to throw to the guys wearing the purple (offensive) jerseys,” Terrell Suggs said.

Mallett even threw a white towel in the air after the last one.

Blake Bortles of the Jaguars matched it Saturday night in the team’s first padded practice before more than 4,000 season-ticket holders invited to practice.

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Gruden’s constant hints of coaching return now beyond tiresome

It won’t be long before Jon Gruden will have more years in the broadcast booth than he spent on NFL sidelines as a head coach.

Gruden coached 11 years in the NFL, four with the Raiders and seven with the Buccaneers. He won one Super Bowl.

Now he’s entering his ninth year as an ESPN announcer, and by 2019, his announcing career will have lasted as long as his coaching career. And then maybe even longer.

That means his coaching career is probably over. Teams aren’t likely to hire a coach who hasn’t been on the sidelines for nine years.

And the Bucs are putting him in their Ring of Honor, a sign they think his coaching days are over. But for some reason, Gruden likes to keep his name in the coaching mix. It sounds like an ego thing.

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