Doug Williams explains why Redskins avoided Colin Kaepernick as support grows for NFL team to sign QB

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As the NFL pledges to combat systemic racism and encourage peaceful player protests, there has been a growing talk of Colin Kaepernick returning to the league. Former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said he “wanted” the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback in 2017. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is apparently receiving calls from teams asking about Kaepernick. And now Doug Williams, who comes this offseason has earned a new title in the front office of the Washington Redskins, explained why his own team hasn’t sued Kaepernick in years past.

Joining “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday, Williams was asked if Washington had ever considered signing Kaepernick, and he said the Redskins avoided the possibility because of the team’s proximity to Washington, D.C.—in particular, a U.S. president who explicitly and repeatedly condemned Kaepernick famously on the sidelines during the national anthem.

“I think what happened here, we’re in a heavily, heavily military area,” said Williams, the team’s senior vice president of player development. “And I think the guy who’s on Pennsylvania Avenue – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – makes such a stench of it, the fans in this area … (it) could have been a difficult situation for both the team and (Kaepernick) … You don’t want to put people in a situation where no one is going to be happy. I think that’s probably what happened, why it didn’t come during that time.

Washington was on the market for a QB in 2018, Kaepernick’s first year completely out of the NFL, but eventually traded for Alex Smith, Kaepernick’s former 49ers teammate, to replace Kirk Cousins. The Redskins then traded for Case Keenum and drafted Dwayne Haskins the next offseason, with Kaepernick still available and offering to interview with “any team.”

It remains unclear whether Kaepernick, now 32, will have a legitimate chance of returning to the league this season, but a number of activist NFL players have called on teams to give him a “fair opportunity.”

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