Broncos won't rule out Kaepernick signing with Paxton Lynch out a few games
Lynch, a first-round pick a year ago, is dealing with a shoulder injury
The Broncos' already unfortunate quarterback situation is getting even worse. On Monday, Broncos coach Vance Joseph revealed that backup quarterback Paxton Lynch -- a first-round pick a year ago who has struggled mightily in limited appearances -- will miss a couple regular season games with an injury to his throwing shoulder. He suffered the sprain during the Broncos' preseason game against the Packers on Saturday when he was sacked.
That leaves the Broncos in a bit of predicament. They already handed the starting job to Trevor Siemian, but they're now lacking a backup quarterback, which means they'll be forced to keep three quarterbacks on their final roster. That third quarterback might be rookie Kyle Sloter, who is already on the roster and played well against the Packers after Lynch went down. This preseason, Sloter is 16 of 20 for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
Or it might be an unsigned free agent if the Broncos feel that Sloter isn't a reliable enough option to back up Siemian. Speaking of free agents, Colin Kaepernick is still available. And Joseph didn't rule out the possibility of bringing him in.
Kaepernick makes sense for the Broncos because he's a talented quarterback who already drew interest from Denver a year ago. He might even be better than Siemian.
But Kaepernick also doesn't make sense for Denver because the Broncos supposedly like both of their young quarterbacks (Siemian and Lynch) and they probably don't want to spend money on a quarterback who'll eventually have no place on the roster as soon as Lynch is healthy. Furthermore, would Kaepernick want to join a team that already has its top two quarterbacks locked down?
Denver doesn't seem like a likely landing spot for Kaepernick considering the Broncos have had a clear need at quarterback for the past year and they've yet to bring him in. The injury to Lynch probably doesn't change how they feel about Kaepernick.
And then there's the issue of Kaepernick's protest -- rather, there's a chance GM John Elway could see Kaepernick's protest as an issue. Elway, a Republican, attended Donald Trump's inauguration and earlier this month, he said that he supported the players' right to protest, but also sounded like a GM who was concerned a protest could negatively impact his team:
My stance is that everybody has their right to do what they wish to do and their beliefs are their beliefs. That's why we live in this country. They have the right to display whatever they wish to display. I think one thing -- where we stand and where I stand with the Broncos -- is, 'That's OK and we will respect that and whatever you want to do is fine with us. But the bottom line is that can't get in the way with our main goal. And that is to compete for world championships.'
I just don't want that pulling away from our team. It can pull (you) away, because it does get a lot of attention. The only thing that I would say to our players is to make sure it's not hurting your teammate. If the questions and everything -- if the tenor changes of what goes on in these interviews and you're not talking about our next opponent, you're talking about what's going on in the world -- that's not the best thing for our football team.
So I only advise or tell our players this: I respect where you stand. But when you're doing anything, just understand what it's doing to our football team. I want these guys to understand we're football-first and we want to win football games. If we do that, everything's going to be fine. With that being said, I still respect that they have the right to do what they wish to do. But I just hope that when they do those types of things, that what they take into (account) is to think about their teammates first.
It is worth noting, however, that Elway spoke highly of linebacker Brandon Marshall, who joined Kaepernick's protest last year.
"Brandon made a point last year, but he carried it forward. He just didn't make a stand on the field. He went out in the community and did something and talked to different people," Elway said. "He talked to law enforcement and got involved. I was proud of Brandon. Not only did he show his support but he went out and did something in the community."
Last year, Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to charities that help communities in need.
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