49ers

Supportive Ray Lewis offers advice to Colin Kaepernick: Shut up

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USATSI

Supportive Ray Lewis offers advice to Colin Kaepernick: Shut up

Colin Kaepernick is not in the NFL, but he's all over the headlines after reports that NFL owners are blocking their teams from signing the former 49ers quarterback.

The Ravens considered signing Kaepernick last week after staring QB Joe Flacco was injured, but chose not to. Owner Steve Bisciotti said on Sunday that, before making their decision, they consulted with players on the team, fans, sponsors, respected community members, as well as former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

"I hear something negative, I hear something positive and sometimes it shocks me who it's coming from," Bisciotti said.It's unclear what advice Lewis gave the team, but on Tuesday he posted a bit of a contradictory message to Kaepernick with the caption, "brotherhood - we are in this together."

Here are a few choice quotes from the message, which begins with Lewis telling Kaepernick that he applauds what he is standing for and ends with Lewis calling Kaepernick his brother for life.

"If people really want to help you, they'll pray for you. They'll lead you the right way and stop encouraging you to be caught up in some of this nonsense.

"The battles you've been fighting, brother, people way before us been fighting these for many, many, many years.

"The football field is our sanctuary. If you do nothing else, young man, get back on the football field and let your play speak for yourself. 

"What you do off the field, don't let too many people know, because they gonna judge you anyway. No matter what you do. No matter if it's good or bad."

Kaepernick, 29, chose to protest the National Anthem by taking a knee in 2016 in an effort to raise awareness around social inequality.

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.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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AP

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.