OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Joe Flacco’s health. The salary cap. And of course, potential negative fan reaction.

The Baltimore Ravens are weighing all these factors – and then some – as they continue to wrestle with the decision whether to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

It’s been a week since Ravens Coach John Harbaugh floated the idea of adding Kaepernick, a veteran with Super Bowl experience and the baggage that comes from his decision last year to literally sit out the national anthem on game days.

The topic of Kaepernick came up on the first day of training camp because Flacco, the team’s starter for the past nine seasons, arrived with a bad back. Flacco still hasn’t taken a snap, though he insists he’s on the mend.

Kaepernick remains an option, particularly since backup Ryan Mallett has not performed well in practice. One problem the Ravens face in signing Kaepernick is they don’t have much space under the salary cap and still have plenty of holes to fill, including on a porous offensive line.

But the biggest challenge for the Ravens is gauging the potential backlash that might be created by signing a player who gained widespread attention last year for his decision to sit – then eventually kneel – during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.


So, the Ravens will weigh all their options before deciding if Kaepernick is worth the money.

“It’s all linked,” Harbaugh said. “People want to draw big broad lines about, ‘It’s about this’ or ‘about that,’ but it’s never one thing. So, we’ll just have to see where it goes and try to do the best thing for our football team, organization and everything.”

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has interviewed current and former players on the topic, including retired linebacker Ray Lewis and tight end Benjamin Watson, now in his second year with the team.

“I was surprised mainly because I don’t get a vote,” Watson said Wednesday after practice. “This organization will make decisions for all the guys on the field right now. It’s about: Can he help us win games?

“The biggest thing they have to decide is, is he a good fit for our football team? I would hope that any team, when it comes to Colin Kaepernick, would look at his skill and look at their needs and say, ‘OK, I’m going to give him an opportunity because I have a need in that area and he can fill it.’ Nothing else.”

GIANTS: Starting wide receiver Sterling Shepard may be out for a little while.


The team’s second-leading receiver last season rolled his left ankle running a short route in Wednesday’s practice. After the workout, Coach Ben McAdoo said the injury appeared to be a sprain, but added that further evaluations were planned.

The second-year receiver got up after being hurt and hopped to the sideline, where he immediately fell to the grass in pain. He was taken off the field on a golf cart and did not return.

DOLPHINS: Running back Jay Ajayi has been diagnosed with a concussion and will miss several practices. Ajayi, who ran for 1,272 yards last season, sat out Wednesday’s workout after being hurt Monday.

RAMS: A person with knowledge of the situation says Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Dominique Easley is expected to miss the season with a torn knee ligament.

The former Patriot hurt his right knee during training camp on Tuesday and was taken off the field on a cart..

CHARGERS: Rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp tore a ligament in his right knee Wednesday during the fourth practice of training camp.

Lamp was taken off the field on a cart, and the second-round pick’s injury was diagnosed a few hours later with an MRI exam.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.