John Elway was asked Thursday whether Colin Kaepernick is on the Broncos’ radar with their QB room in flux, even after ponying up for Case Keenum in free agency.
“Colin had his chance here,” Elway told reporters. “We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. So, as I said it in my deposition, I don’t know if i’ll be legally able to say this, but he’s had his chance to be here. He passed it.”
Kaepernick’s “chance” that Elway is alluding to was the golden opportunity to take a $12.4 million haircut in order to consummate a trade that would’ve sent him from San Francisco to Denver. Already guaranteed $11.9 million by the Niners, he declined, the 49ers cut him less than 12 months later and he’s been unemployed ever since for a reason that has nothing do with the 30-year-old former Super Bowl quarterback’s football ability.
Before we get to that, though, it shoud be noted that another, non-kneeling quarterback turned down a contract offer from Denver, only to return a year later — Brock Osweiler. The one-time heir apparent to Peyton Manning, who took his best offer in signing with the Texans two offseasons ago, Osweiler was re-signed by Denver last season after being dumped by Cleveland. So he, unlike Kaepernick, was granted a mulligan by Elway. Funny how that works, right?
Elway mentioned that he was deposed by the lawyers representing Kaepernick in his grievance case against the NFL, which asserts that he’s unemployed because he started the player’s movement of protesting social inequality and police brutality by protesting during the playing of the national anthem, not his lacking the talent to be on an NFL roster.
Had the Broncos effectively traded for Kaepernick on the heels of their Super Bowl 50 triumph, not traded up in Round 1 of the draft a week later for first-round bust Paxton Lynch, the organization might still have a 14-18 record over the past two seasons and a lame-duck coach entering only his second year at the helm.
But Elway hasn’t exactly earned the benefit of the doubt in the way the QB room has been handled since Manning’s retirement, either. That hasn’t stopped him from again closing the book on signing Kaepernick to compete with Chad Kelly for the club’s No. 2 QB job that almost assuredly won’t belong to Lynch.
Technically, Elway is correct that Kaepernick bypassed a chance to come to Denver. It’s also correct to say that Elway has had a chance each of the past two offseasons to acquire a player for whom he once was willing to part with draft capital, for only a free-agent contract. But the Broncos GM curiously decided not to take either of those chances. Must have been football decisions.