49ers

Baalke: 'Nowhere near' trading Kaepernick

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Baalke: 'Nowhere near' trading Kaepernick

Editor's note: Matt Maiocco is in Florida for the NFL owners meetings. Watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6 & 10:30pm for comprehensive coverage.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – General manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday the 49ers gave quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s representatives permission to talk to other teams.

But the intention all along has been that Kaepernick would remain with the 49ers this season, Baalke said at the NFL owners meetings.

“I’ve had discussions with several teams and it’s gone no further than that, as the agents have had several discussions (with teams),” Baalke said. “We’re nowhere near getting anything done at this point.”

The 49ers have spoken with the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and New York Jets, according to sources. Baalke said the 49ers have not received a formal trade offer for Kaepernick.

“What we told them was that they were open to exploring options,” Baalke said. “But our intent was for him to be back and to go to work. . . He’s under contract and until that changes, our expectations don’t change.”

So why would the 49ers give permission for a player to talk to other teams if the intent was to retain him on their roster?

“Because I think sometimes it helps players work through anything they may have,” Baalke said. “It gives them a chance to see what their options really are. It also gives us a chance to say we didn’t hold you back from doing that.”

The 49ers’ offseason program is scheduled to begin on April 4, and Baalke said he anticipates Kaepernick will be in attendance.

Kaepernick is currently rehabbing from surgeries to his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee in Vail, Colorado. He visited the 49ers’ facility in Santa Clara on Friday for a checkup – not a full physical, according to the team.

Baalke said the organization gave Kaepernick’s representatives, agents Scott Smith and Jason Bernstein, permission to speak with other teams because of the “unique situation.” He said the 49ers will not give permission to every player who seeks to leave the organization.

“You have to look at all the change we’ve gone through,” Baalke said. “And sometimes that’s difficult on players, especially young players that have to go from system to system to system.

“I’ve never really asked them what their thought process is and why they’re making the decisions that they are, but by giving them the opportunity to explore other options doesn’t mean that you don’t want them. It gives them some reassurance, ‘If you feel there’s something better out there for you,’ at least give them the option to explore it.”

Coach Chip Kelly said last week his discussions with Kaepernick have been positive. Kelly intimated the notion that Kaepernick's agents are behind the discussion of seeking a trade.

When asked if Kaepernick has ever expressed his displeasure to Baalke, he answered, “I don’t’ think that’s ever been a real issue. I’m not going to get into whether it’s been agent-driven. There’s always a side to that. . . . For these young players, a lot of time there is influence from agents on what’s best for their client. Let’s face it, the last couple of years haven't been an easy run for any of us.”

Baalke has spoken to representatives of every team in the league over the past couple of days at the NFL owners meetings, but there has been no trade talk, he said.

Baalke said: “I’ve talked to 31 other teams about a variety of things, and none of which is newsworthy."

New York City law enforcement members hold rally to support Kaepernick

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USATSI

New York City law enforcement members hold rally to support Kaepernick

NEW YORK — A former New York City police officer, whose claims of police corruption in the 1970s were chronicled in an Al Pacino movie, joined dozens of current and former officers Saturday at a rally in support of getting quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job in the National Football League.

The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color.

He opted out of his contract in March and became a free agent, but so far, no NFL teams have signed him for the upcoming season.

The gathering in Brooklyn featured about 75 mostly minority officers wearing black T-shirts reading "#imwithkap."

One exception was retired officer Frank Serpico, whose exploits were featured in the 1973 film, "Serpico."

He admitted not being a football fan, but said he felt it was important to support Kaepernick for his stance.

"He's trying to hold up this government up to our founding fathers," said the now 81-year-old Serpico.

Sgt. Edwin Raymond, who said he was heading to work after the rally, spoke of the need for racial healing in the country.

"Until racism in America is no longer taboo, we own up to it, we admit it, we understand it and then we do what we have to do to solve it, unfortunately we're going to have these issues," he said.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.