US sports activities host blasts Denver Broncos for ‘dereliction of responsibility’ over exiled NFL participant Colin Kaepernick – Large World of Sports activities
NFL A US sports host has slammed the Denver Broncos for failing to even consider “blackballed” former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, as he patiently awaits a chance to get back into the league.
The Broncos’ starting quarterback Drew Lock suffered a shoulder injury in week two of the season, forcing back-up Jeff Driskel, 23, to step up. Driskel did a respectable job after Lock left in the first quarter against the top-ranked Pittsburgh Steelers defence, completing 18 of 34 passes for 256 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as Denver lost 26-21.
Drew Lock of the Denver Broncos (Getty)
However with Lock expected to miss up to five weeks with the strained rotator cuff injury, the Broncos began a search for a more experienced back-up quarterback.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was asked by media if Kaepernick had been considered, but any talk of a comeback in Denver was promptly shut down.
“His name hasn’t come up in the brief discussions I’ve had with (Broncos general manager) John (Elway) to this point,” Fangio, who was the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator in Kaepernick’s first four seasons, said.
Colin Kaepernick during his NFL career with the 49ers (Getty)
Free agent and former Jaguars and Rams quarterback Blake Bortles was the man the Broncos signed to a one-year deal. The 28-year-old was a third-overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but Bortles’ career has been far from impressive with a 24-49 win-loss record as a starter in the league. According to CBS Sports, since 2014 only one quarterback has had over 75 interceptions with a completion percentage lower than 60 percent – and it’s Bortles.
Bortles’ signing over Kaepernick prompted some criticism to come at the Broncos.
On First Take, host Max Kellerman unleashed a tirade at Denver’s front office for their baffling snub of Kaepernick.
“I have a huge problem with it. Nothing wrong with signing Blake Bortles, but wait a minute. If you’re looking for a quarterback and there’s legitimacy in terms of your competitiveness, if it’s really a meritocracy, if you have some kind of ethical responsibility to try to be your best, what possible excuse do you have for not bringing in a guy who went to a Super Bowl, who wants to play, to give him a look?” Kellerman said.
“You don’t have to sign him. (But) you’re not going to work him out to see if he still has it? At all?
“His name hasn’t come up? At all? Now, are you an incompetent organisation? Is there some mandate to not bring him up? Or do you just know ‘let’s not go there.’ At any rate, that’s a dereliction of duty.
“You have to look to fill a position, and you wouldn’t even discuss bringing in Colin Kaepernick to give him a look? It lays bare the nonsense that has been going on about him. He’s clearly been, for lack of a better word, blackballed.”
Kaepernick’s peaceful kneeling protest before games, which began in 2016, was a brave move which ultimately left him effectively blacklisted, unsigned and to this day jobless in the NFL.
That was despite having reached the Super Bowl just years earlier in 2013 with the 49ers and there being a consensus that at the very least, he was, and is still, deserving of a back-up quarterback role in any of the 32 NFL teams.
He became a free agent in 2017 and not a single team has signed him since.
In 2016 Elway and the Broncos offered Kaepernick a contract however if he signed with them he would have had to waive guaranteed money from the 49ers to the tune of $6.87 million.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has since expressed regret at the way in which the league handled kneeling protests led by Kaepernick, and this year as the Black Lives Matter movement erupted in the US, Goodell has “encouraged” teams to sign the quarterback.
Jeff Driskel of the Denver Broncos (Getty)