49ers

Harbaugh and Smith back to being BFFs

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Harbaugh and Smith back to being BFFs

Just like we always thought Jimmy and Al, BFFs forever.Alex Smith gave his situation careful thought, enjoyed his minute of making the 49ers uncomfortable, and signed the deal that binds him to the team as its starting quarterback until the next time Harbaughs wandering eye seizes upon a prize.Because thats the new nature of the relationship which is the same as the old nature of the relationship. Smith cashes in one more time, promised the chance to cement his relationship as The Guy You Like Just Enough To Wish He Was Someone Else.And Harbaugh can dream of what was and what could have been while he puts the happy face on what is.If you think about it, nobody ends up looking bad here. The 49ers did their due-est diligence and made a run at a guy they couldnt really pay for, and Smith didnt burn any bridges while waiting for events to reveal themselves.The one team that did get blown up here is Denver, and we mean that in a good way. They got Peyton Manning, they (in Shakespeares words) rid themselves of this turbulent priest in Tim Tebow, and suddenly look like not only the prohibitive favorite in the AFC West, but also a Super Bowl contender, if Las Vegas is to believed.But the 49ers, other than amusing us for the better part of a week with a few words and a bit of window shopping, are essentially unchanged. Smith is a bit more of a pure employee, and Harbaugh is less convincing as The Players Friend, but other than that, what was still is, and what will be remains open to interpretation.Thats the lesson of this week. As much fulminating as we did on the subject of the 49ers quarterback situation, we ended up where we pretty much suspected we would with Manning someone elses property, and Smith still Miss Congeniality.But heres the back end of the deal Colin Kaepernick.As Comrade Maiocco continues to say, Kaepernick is the 49ers idea of the quarterback of the future, which means that Smith just finishing looking ahead of him just in time to start looking behind him. He will begin as the starter because, well, because he should, but the question of leash length will become important if he does not hit the ground running at the same pace and gait he had last year.It means, essentially, that Alex Smiths dream of peace of mind in San Francisco is either over, or about to be. Whatever comfort he has derived from 2011 is not going to last all that much longer, even if he holds the job. He ends up after all this with Matt Flynns contract and Matt Hasselbecks security which is not the payoff he dreamed of when the season ended two months ago.But the payoff in the NFL is being day to day in a world that even Charles Darwin would find unsettling. Alex Smiths world is his head on a swivel, on the field, at practice, in the meetings, wherever 49er quarterbacks go to find out that they are going to be The Guy, Until The Guy Comes Around.

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.