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Woody Paige: Shouldn't the Broncos consider signing Colin Kaepernick?

August 1, 2017 Updated: August 2, 2017 at 6:28 am
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FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Calif. Talent or not, Kaepernick won't be setting foot on any NFL field very soon. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Bluntly, the Broncos' two quarterbacks have not been Superb in training camp, and neither seem capable of leading the team to the Superb Bowl this season.

It's early, but coach Vance Joseph says a choice must be made soon (three weeks). What if both continue to be consistently inconsistent?

Why not bring in a veteran who has been a starting Super Bowl quarterback, and barely missed another because of a tipped pass in the end zone?

Why not add a quarterback who had a passer rating and touchdown-to-interception ratio superior to the Broncos' QBs last year?

Why not, if the Broncos truly want competition, amp the volume with a third contender? Why not sign a quarterback who would be affordable under the salary cap, and if he doesn't make the roster wouldn't cost a cent?

Why not Colin Kaepernick?

There's that thing.

Oh, the Broncos already have a starting inside linebacker who also did that thing. Brandon Marshall is a Pro Bowl-caliber popular athlete in Denver who received the inaugural Harvard University Courage Award for his actions in 2016.

When Marshall chose to kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the opening game last season, the Broncos issued this statement: "While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the national anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision."

Marshall's stand actually was the third most controversial kneeling issue in Broncos history.

The first occurred in Miami in 2011 when the Broncos beat the Dolphins in overtime. Quarterback Tim Tebow kneeled on the sideline and prayed. "Tebowing" became an international sensation, but the genuflection caused quite a backlash, too.

The second happened near the end of regulation in the Broncos-Ravens playoff game on Jan. 12, 2013. The Ravens scored on a 70-yard Joe Flacco touchdown heave and tied the score with 31 seconds left. After the kickoff, coach John Fox ordered quarterback Peyton Manning to take a knee. The Broncos lost in the second overtime.

To kneel or not to kneel, that is the topic of debate.

The United States Code states: "During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in (military) uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. ..."

"Should" is a key word. In 1943 the Supreme Court ruled, and since has reiterated, that forcing someone to stand for the flag and/or the national anthem is a violation of the first amendment.

Is Kaepernick being blackballed by teams in the NFL? I don't know. But I do know he's more proven than many of the 100-plus quarterbacks in 32 NFL camps.

When Flacco was sidelined with a back problem, the Ravens signed David Olson, a real estate salesman-arena league player. Then they cut him and signed Josh Woodrum, who has been released by four teams the past year. The Ravens took a pass on Kaepernick as the team owner said: "We're trying to figure out the right tact. Pray for us."

Is the Broncos' third-stringer Kyle Sloter better than Kaepernick? Paxton Lynch? Trevor Siemian?

In 2016 the Broncos were this close to a deal with the 49ers for Kaepernick - months before his protest. The hangup was money, not civil rights or perceived ability. John Elway invited Kaepernick, who was rehabbing from surgery in the mountains, to Dove Valley and his own home. The Broncos were willing to pay $7 million of Kaepernick's guaranteed $11.9 million. Negotiations broke down, and the Broncos ended up with Mark Sanchez.

Kaepernick started 11 games for San Francisco, completing 59.2 percent of his passes and throwing for 16 touchdowns with four interceptions. His passer rating was 90.7.

Siemian, in 14 starts, was accurate on 59.5 percent with 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and an 84.6 rating. Lynch, who started two games and played in three, finished at 59 percent, with two touchdowns, one interception and a 79.2 rating.

Kaepernick's quarterback coach, then coordinator at San Francisco from 2011-2015, was Geep Chryst, now the Broncos' tight ends coach.

Elway said earlier this year the Broncos had moved on from Kaepernick, and Joseph said Kaepernick's name never was discussed. Wouldn't somebody at the Broncos ask Chryst what he thinks? He and Kaepernick were together in two conference championships games and a Super Bowl.

The Broncos previously picked up reclamation quarterbacks - Frank Tripucka, Charley Johnson, Craig Morton, Steve DeBerg, Bubby Brister, Jake Plummer and Manning. Three are on the Ring of Fame; a fourth will be; a fifth got the Broncos to the AFC Championship; a sixth started a playoff game, and four were with the Broncos in Super Bowls.

Just saying.

Why not Kaepernick?

Just asking.

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