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Washington should come clean on not calling Colin Kaepernick

December 5, 2018

I would have more respect for the Washington NFL team’s higher-ups if they simply stated the obvious, instead of feeding us a steaming pile of manure regarding Colin Kaepernick.

We are long past the point that a team can trot out “football issues” as an explanation for the lack of interest in the free-agent quarterback. That excuse was as illogical the last two seasons as it was Tuesday, when coach Jay Gruden queued it up like a radio hit in heavy rotation.

Gruden did a remix, though. He said the problem wouldn’t be Kaepernick’s lack of ability, but rather how the quarterback’s skills fit into the revolutionary Washington offense that is scorching the league with its unique philosophy and novel schemes.

Everything would have to change. (Insert a punchline here.)

“Since it’s Week 13 with four games to go, in order to really utilize somebody like Colin Kaepernick’s skillset, you’re talking about a whole new group of formations and run concepts and all that good stuff,” Gruden said. “It’s just very difficult.”

He added: “whoever the backup is, either he has familiarity with my terminology and offense, where he can come in in a pinch, or he’s a quarterback with a similar skillset to Mark (Sanchez) that can fit into the plays we’re going to run vs. the Giants.”

If your goal is finding a quarterback similar to Sanchez, you’re living wrong.

Granted, Kaepernick might decline an invitation to work out for Washington. There’s certainly no shortage of reasons, on and off the field. He might decide that staying on the couch beats jumping into a mishmash. Can’t necessarily blame him if that’s how he feels.

But Washington should call to see if he was interested. If so, the team should bring him in for a look-see. It should gauge his physical fitness on the field and his football mind in the classroom.

For all we know, Kaepernick would’ve shocked everyone with his ability to grasp Gruden’s wildly creative offense and fit in, despite his superior skillset. He might even stick around, gasp, beyond this season!

Why can’t the organization just be honest and state that Kaepernick wasn’t brought in because of his past?

Just admit he’s unwanted due to protests during the national anthem, no matter how much he might help the team. Surely a portion of the fan base would support that position, no matter the irrationality of shunning peaceful protestors while embracing suspected woman beaters.

Of course, we already know why Washington specifically president Bruce Allen won’t acknowledge the real reason Kaepernick isn’t an option in Ashburn:

He’s gutless.

Allen proved as much last week. He hid under the covers and pushed Doug Williams out front to face the heat for claiming Reuben Foster two days after his arrest for domestic violence. Allen gave an off-camera interview to ESPN’s Lisa Salters for Monday Night Football and said, according to Salters, that they “did their own investigation of sorts.”

Sure, the sort of probe that the NFL conducted 10 months ago on former Chiefs halfback Kareem Hunt.

At one point during Monday’s broadcast, it looked like Allen tried to obscure himself from view when cameras showed him in the press box. The maneuver didn’t work, which describes just about everything that has transpired under the current regime.

According to a Tuesday report from Pro Football Talk, Allen previously made it clear internally that Washington has and will continue to have no interest in Kaepernick. Instead, they have recycled Sanchez and now Josh Johnson, who hasn’t thrown a pass in an NFL game since Dec. 11, 2011. (He completed of 1-of-2 for three yards with an interception.)

Multiple sorry quarterbacks like Johnson have landed second, third and fourth shots at the NFL. Meanwhile, a QB who came within inches of winning a Super Bowl is passed over repeatedly by teams with postseason hopes.

Jacksonville pinned its fate to Blake Bortles. Houston preferred Tom Savage, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden while DeShaun Watson recovered. The Jets gave Josh McCown not one, but two contracts. Tennessee’s backups have included Matt Cassel and Alex Tanney. Arizona went with Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon before drafting Josh Rosen.

All of those teams can’t have incomprehensible offenses that are a disservice to Kaepernick’s exquisite skillset. They can’t all use complex schemes and terminology that require dual degrees in engineering and linguistics.

Attorney Mark Geragos is correct; he says what’s happening to his client is obvious. NFL teams with obvious needs the latest being Washington are going out of their way to keep Kaepernick out of the league.

A pox on all their rosters.

⦁ Deron Snyder writes his award-winning column for The Washington Times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow him on Twitter @DeronSnyder.

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