John Harbaugh: It's intellectually lazy to say Kaepernick is being blackballed

Although several NFL players believe that Colin Kaepernick is out of a job right now because he’s being blackballed, Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn’t feel the same way. 

Harbaugh almost sounded offended at the notion that Kaepernick is being blackballed when he was asked about the subject Tuesday at the NFL’s annual league meeting. 

“I would never use just a generic, stupid term like that to describe a more complicated type of situation,” Harbaugh said, via the Washington Times. “I just think it’s too easy. It’s intellectually lazy. To me, I think that it’s more nuanced. And I do think that people are, yeah, I absolutely think he’s going to get signed. I think he’ll probably be starting somewhere [in 2017].”

Players like Seattle’s Richard Sherman aren’t on the same page as Harbaugh. The Seahawks corner recently said that it’s pretty clear that Kaepernick is being shut out by teams because he’s perceived to be a distraction. 

“There was a year Matt Schaub had a pretty rough year and got signed the next year,” Sherman told ESPN recently. “So it has nothing to do with football. You can see that. They signed guys who have had off years before.”

The biggest problem for Kaepernick right now is that he reportedly wants a chance to start and there doesn’t seem to be a team willing to give him that chance, which isn’t all that surprising. 

Think about last year: The 49ers were open to trading him, but there were literally zero takers, and that was before he started kneeling for the national anthem. Teams weren’t too interested in him then, so it’s not a complete shock that he’s drawing little interest now.

The Broncos were one of the few teams that were interested last year. However, it wouldn’t make any sense for them to add Kaepernick until they know what’s going on with Tony Romo. (The Broncos may say they’re uninterested in Romo, but if he was released, they’d likely be one of the first two teams to call.)

If Kaepernick wants to start, then his only real options are the Texans, Jets, Browns and 49ers, and those aren’t great options. 

Harbaugh thinks the quarterback’s employment status will change before the 2017 season starts. 

“He’s too good a player,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, he’s got to prove himself as a player. Colin knows that, he’d be the first to tell you that. You know, when you’re the quarterback and you don’t win, you’re going to have to answer for that. But he’ll get a chance again. Someone’s going to sign him and he’ll play in this league probably for a long time.”

The Ravens aren’t in the market for a quarterback, but if they were, Harbaugh said he’d definitely be open to adding the 29-year-old. 

“We’ve been very clear over the years, guys speak their mind in Baltimore,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not going to impact how somebody plays. I’m not going to play better or worse because this person believes this or that. We can certainly disagree with anything, a political opinion, or how a guy wears his socks or whatever. It’s not going to impact how I perform but we’re allowed to have that conversation and that’s what America is.”

Maybe Kaepernick should just go ahead and hire the Harbaugh brothers as his agents. Besides John’s glowing remarks, Kaepernick also got a nice endorsement from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who used to coach the quarterback while both were with the 49ers. 

In a recent interview with Pro Football Talk, Jim Harbaugh said that Kaepernick will “win championships” for any team that might choose to sign him. 

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

Apparently, no team in the NFL agrees with Jim Harbaugh, or else Kaepernick would’ve been off the market on the first day of free agency. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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