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Jim Harbaugh: I don’t respect Kaepernick’s motivation or action

Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick played his best football for Jim Harbaugh, who frequently praised his quarterback’s talent and work ethic when they were together in San Francisco.

But now that Harbaugh is at Michigan, and Kaepernick has made the decision to sit down in protest during the national anthem, Harbaugh has lost respect for the player he once held in such high regard.

“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” Harbaugh said today.

Harbaugh has often expressed his patriotism and at times taken shots at those who he sees as less than patriotic. Shortly after he took the Michigan job, a campus controversy about the showing of the movie American Sniper led to Harbaugh announcing that the Michigan football team would watch the movie and that he didn’t care for the views of those who found the movie problematic.

Now Harbaugh is speaking up again, and declining to offer support to a player who once helped him get to the Super Bowl.

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Chargers announce they’ve signed Joey Bosa to rookie deal

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  (L-R) Joey Bosa of Ohio State holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #3 overall by the San Diego Chargers during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chargers used their last press release to shame Joey Bosa for not signing their most generous offer.

Today, they put out another one to say they signed him.

The team announced via its own website that the third overall pick in the draft had signed his four-year deal.

“We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season,” General Manager Tom Telesco said in the statement.

Of course, they didn’t mention what the offer was like, or which side bent or whether there was actually some compromise in the situation.

Bosa was the last pick from this year’s draft to sign, after an impasse stemming from offset language and the timing of his signing bonus payments.

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What’s next for Matthews, Peppers, Harrison, Neal?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13:  The logo for Al Jazeera America is displayed outside of the cable news channel's offices on January 13, 2016 in New York City. Al Jazeera America, which debuted in August 2013,  announced today that they are shutting down. Employees of the struggling news network known as AJAM were informed of the decision during an all-hands staff meeting on Wednesday afternoon.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Getty Images

The four current players implicated last December in the Al Jazeera documentary regarding PED use (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, James Harrison, and Mike Neal) have submitted to interviews. So what’s next?

The expectation from the players’ perspective is that all four will be exonerated quickly, in the same way Peyton Manning was. That’s also the way the wind currently is blowing at 345 Park Avenue, where the private message continues to be that this all could have been quickly taken care of in March, if the players had merely agreed to talk.

Will it be quickly taken care of in August? The players, through the NFL Players Association, feared that the NFL secretly had other evidence beyond the claims of former Guyer Institute employee/intern/whatever Charles Sly, or that the league would follow the interviews with a request that the players produce their phones.

For now, there’s no indication that the NFL plans to move in that direction. Given that Sly necessarily was discredited by the finding in the Peyton Manning investigation suggests that Sly will be discredited as to the others, too. If not, the investigation and disciplinary process will hover over the start of the 2016 season, if not beyond.

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Broncos trying to trade Mark Sanchez

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20:  Quarterback Mark Sanchez of the Denver Broncos smiles as he warms up before a preseason NFL game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 20, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

Trevor Siemian is the Week One starter at quarterback for the Broncos and Mark Sanchez could be on his way out of Denver.

PFT has learned, via a league source, that the Broncos are trying to trade the 2009 first-round pick now that they have settled on Siemian as their starter. Rookie Paxton Lynch is the other quarterback on the depth chart and is seen as the ultimate choice to start after Denver selected him in the first round this year.

Should they fail to move Sanchez in a trade, there’s a good chance that the Broncos will release Sanchez before Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75 players. Sanchez has $1 million of his $4.5 million base salary guaranteed, which means the team would save $3.5 million in both money and cap space if they did cut him loose.

If they don’t cut Sanchez before Week One, the entire salary will be guaranteed because Sanchez is a vested veteran and the Broncos will owe the Eagles the seventh-round pick they conditionally agreed to fork over in the trade for Sanchez. The Broncos might also be on the hook for the full $4.5 million if Sanchez were to get injured in Thursday’s preseason finale, so he might not get on the field even if the Broncos haven’t decided his fate before the cut to 75 takes place.

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Broncos name Trevor Siemian the starter

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) takes the field prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

Northwestern fans, unite.

Back in March, after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler defected to Houston and the Broncos busted the glass in event of emergency and traded for Mark Sanchez, a member of the organization told me that they really, really like Trevor Siemian. The person then told me to stop laughing, before pointing out that Siemian had a year in the system, and that he had a chance to learn from Manning and Osweiler.

They weren’t just blowing smoke. On Monday, Siemian was named the starting quarterback for Week One against the Panthers.

Whether the seventh-round pick from the Big 10 school that rarely contends in the Big 10 keeps the job remains to be seen. Last year, the Broncos were willing to yank Manning and, seven games later, to bench Osweiler. The moves worked, as evidenced by the gleaming silver trophy with a look and feel that has held up very well through five decades. Rookie Paxton Lynch eventually could be the quarterback in Denver for the rest of the current decade and beyond, but Siemian will get the first opportunity in 2016.

The next question becomes whether they’ll cut Sanchez before Week One, when his $4.5 million salary becomes as a practical matter guaranteed. For now, only $1 million of it is. Also, if they keep Sanchez beyond Week One, the Broncos will owe the Eagles a seventh-round draft pick.

At the top of the depth chart, Siemian is the guy. And the job now becomes getting him ready for the first test, which arrived in 10 days when the Panthers come to town.

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Stork fails physical, trade rescinded

Stork Getty Images

One of the most complicated trades involving a conditional seventh-round pick ever has officially been rescinded.

Center Bryan Stork failed his physical with the Redskins Monday, ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. reported, meaning he won’t be joining the team the Patriots traded him to last week. Stork had contemplated retirement and the Redskins weren’t sure he would even report until last weekend.

His rights will revert back to the Patriots, and the Redskins will keep the conditional pick they agreed to send to the Patriots to acquire him.

The Patriots will likely release Stork, as they reportedly planned to do before the Redskins agreed to trade for him last week.

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Eric Berry signs tender with Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 29: Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs overlooks the offense at Arrowhead Stadium during the first quarter of the game against the Buffalo Bills on November 29, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs said goodbye to eight players on Sunday, but it was the one arrival that made for the biggest news of the day.

Safety Eric Berry reported to the team and signed his franchise tender, ending an absence from the team that started when they used the franchise tag on him this offseason. Berry and the Chiefs couldn’t agree on a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline, leaving Berry to play out this year on the $10.8 million tender.

Coach Andy Reid said it is good to have Berry back in the fold and that the safety will spend the next two weeks getting into game shape.

“I’d probably lean against playing him on Thursday,” Reid said, via the team. “Just give him time within practice to get himself ready for the opener, but he’s in great shape. It’s just a matter of getting him into football shape.”

The Chiefs open their season at home against the Chargers on September 11 and Berry should be back in his customary place in the secondary come kickoff.

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Ron Rivera on Colin Kaepernick: “We have to do what we think is right”

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Head coach Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers stands on the sideline during the National Anthem prior to playing the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Panthers coach Ron Rivera grew up in a military family, with a father who spent 32 years in the Army including two tours in Vietnam.

And perhaps because he understands everything the flag represents — including the First Amendment — Rivera said he understood 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s position to not stand during the National Anthem.

“To each his own. Everybody’s going to do it their way,” Rivera told Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “To me, it’s a very personal thing because of my dad, his military background, knowing that his family and my mom’s family served in the military.

“My view is [the anthem] is about honoring the people that served and made the commitment to our country, some who even made the ultimate sacrifice. When I stand, that’s what I’m standing for. I’m standing for the people that came before my father and the people that came after him. . . .

“This is America and people are given freedoms and rights. Whatever he chooses he chooses. So be it. We have to do what we think is right. I think that’s the most important thing. Let’s not forget what this country’s built on, and that’s freedoms.”

It’s not a view every coach would espouse, and already Bills coach Rex Ryan has made it clear he wants his players to stand for the National Anthem. And for many coaches, it’s going to be about the team-building as much as the patriotism, as the guys who make a living in the “ultimate team sport” want all 53 players pulling in the same direction.

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Stephen Jones doesn’t slam the door on Romo getting Bledsoe’d

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 25:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to hand off against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

A decade ago, the Cowboys benched quarterback Drew Bledsoe for a guy who had arrived three years earlier as an undrafted rookie out of Eastern Illinois. Moving forward, there’s a chance that Bledsoe and Tony Romo will have something else in common: Both could end up losing a starting franchise-quarterback gig due to injury.

In comments to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones didn’t dismiss the possibility of Dak Prescott playing so well that Romo can’t get back on the field after the broken bone in his back heals.

“I can’t imagine a scenario where Tony’s not our quarterback when he’s ready,” Jones said, seemingly closing the door on Prescott taking the job before jamming it open. “But things happen. You know that. You know what happened to Bledsoe and [Tom] Brady. I’m sure Tony’s aware of that. But the reality is Tony’s going to come back for us and play great, we believe.”

Compare Jones mentioning (without prompting) the possibility of Prescott seizing the job to Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s taking-the-Lord’s-name-in-vain reaction to efforts by one of the various reporters assembled for an audience with the Great and Powerful Oz to dare suggest that Jimmy Garoppolo could hold the starting job for even one game beyond Brady’s looming four-game exile. Belichick has completely and totaled ruled out any sort of Brady-Bledsoe dynamic. Jones, while still expressing faith in Romo, surprisingly went there.

And for good reason. As explained on Sunday, the Cowboys eventually have a decision to make about Romo. How well Prescott plays will be a factor. How much Romo makes in comparison will be, too. Whether he ultimately can be relied upon to remain healthy once he gets healthy could be the biggest factor of all.

Speaking of Garoppolo, here’s another chance to provide an answer to Monday’s PFT Live question of the day.

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49ers teammates standing with Colin Kaepernick, even if they disagree

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 and center Daniel Kilgore #67 of the San Francisco 49ers run off the field during a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Before he addressed the media for 18 minutes yesterday to explain his controversial decision to not stand for the National Anthem, Colin Kaepernick addressed his teammates.

According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, a players-only meeting was held to give Kaepernick a chance to tell his side of the story, and to give anyone who disagreed with him a chance to tell theirs.

Center Daniel Kilgore, who is white and from Tennessee, said he initially took offense to Kaepernick’s action, but gained a new understanding after listening to him explain why he felt the flag was a symbol of ongoing racism in this country.

“I can see where people would think it’s bad with the national anthem and the military,” Kilgore said. “For me, I’m going to stand there every time. I’m going to think about and honor those who are fighting and those who have fought, my family members, my friends. If Kap decides not to, that’s his decision. . . .

“In seeing his point of view, it does help. It clears the air. It was a good meeting. It was a productive meeting. We’re all under the same understanding that he has that right. And for me, personally, I see where Colin was coming from. I don’t agree with him not standing up for the national anthem, but I do respect and acknowledge the fact that he has the right to decide what he wants to do.”

Wide receiver Torrey Smith has been outspoken on such issues in the past, and said he understands that Kaepernick has no beef with the military. He also understands the wrath his teammate is now subject to.

“I like to talk about these things because we all come from different types of backgrounds,” Smith said. “A lot of people like to act like racism and things like that don’t exist in society. If you believe that, go look at Kap’s Instagram comments or his Twitter comments. He’s being called the N-word and ‘Go back to your country,’ and ‘You don’t like this, go here.’ If you say things people don’t agree with, that’s just the way it goes, especially in the social media era. . . .

“The bad thing about what Kap did, it might offend some people. The positive is, it has people talking about something.”

There’s no doubt it has achieved that goal. The interesting part will be seeing whether enough people will listen to the substance of his message, or simply allow the emotional talking points to wash over them, as the conversation steers beyond football.

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A.J. Green says he’s “fine,” just upset he had to leave game

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Getty Images

A.J. Green gave the Bengals and Bengals fans a scare in the first quarter of Sunday night’s preseason game in Jacksonville when the Pro Bowl wide receiver limped off with what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury.

Trainers looked at Green’s right knee, but the Bengals quickly announced the injury was nothing major and that Green could have returned if it had been a regular season game.

In the third quarter, Green did a sideline interview with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya and said he’s not worried about the knee.

“I think I came down on it…just banged knees,” he said. “I’m fine. It sucks because I wanted to play a little bit longer.

“It’s not serious at all. I’m fine now.”

The Bengals have had a miserable preseason on the injury front. It’s highly unlikely any of the team’s starters will play in the preseason finale as the Bengals try to get healthy — and keep their starters away from further potential harm.

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A.J. Green, Adam Jones sustain injuries in Jacksonville

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 12:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the football upfield during the game against Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium on August 12, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The top priority for preseason play continues to be this: Stay healthy enough to play in the regular season.

On Sunday night in Jacksonville, a pair of key Bengals failed to stay healthy.

Cornerback Adam Jones and receiver A.J. Green each have suffered leg injuries in the team’s Week Three preseason game against the Jaguars. The injury to Jones happened prior to the start of the game, in a innocuous-looking drill near the sideline. After backpedaling, Jones came up limping. He is out of uniform and not playing.

Green suffered a leg injury during the game itself. He tried to keep playing after developing a noticeable limp, before exiting the game.

The Bengals say Green’s injury isn’t serious, and that he’d stay in the game if it were a game that counts. Then again, Tony Romo’s injury supposedly wasn’t serious, either.

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Report: 49ers likely to jettison Kaepernick, for football reasons

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, left, and Blaine Gabbert stand on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Colin Kaepernick has suddenly become the most controversial player in the NFL because of his refusal to stand for the national anthem. But there may be another issue that could cost him his job in San Francisco: He’s not a very good quarterback.

Jay Glazer said on FOX that the 49ers are deeply concerned with Kaepernick’s decline as a player, which started last season when he struggled before getting benched, then got even worse this offseason when he lost significant muscle mass when he couldn’t work out following multiple surgeries.

“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team,” Glazer said. “I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has nothing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”

Kaepernick’s contract guarantees him an $11.9 million salary this season, and ordinarily a player with an $11.9 million guaranteed salary isn’t going to get cut. But if the 49ers really think Kaepernick has regressed to the point where they’d be better off with Blaine Gabbert starting and Christian Ponder and Jeff Driskel backing Gabbert up, then they can save a little money by cutting Kaepernick and hoping he signs with another team, as they would be able to reduce that $11.9 million by the amount of Kaepernick’s salary with a new team.

So there are football reasons that the 49ers might want to get rid of Kaepernick. At this point, they probably wish they had done so before this weekend’s non-football controversy.

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Kaepernick: Liberty, freedom and justice are not happening for all

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games this year was the main topic in the 49ers locker room on Sunday as Kaepernick provided further explanation for that decision.

Kaepernick pointed to police brutality against people of color and said people are “not being held accountable” for their actions. He also criticized both of the major party candidates for president — “You have Hillary [Clinton] who’s called black kids, black teens ‘super predators.’ You have [Donald] Trump who’s openly racist” — while speaking for about 20 minutes on Sunday.

“Ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country,” Kaepernick said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, that’s something that needs to change. That’s something, that, this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now. … I’ll continue to sit. I’m continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel that that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people in the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

Kaepernick also addressed one of the frequent criticisms of his stand by saying that his decision to sit during the anthem is not a sign of disrespect for those that have served the United States in the military.

“I have great respect for our men and women that fought for this country,” Kaepernick said. “I have family, I have friends that have fought for this country. And they fight for freedom. They fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. And that’s not happening. I mean, people are dying in vain because this country is not holding its end of the bargain up as far as giving freedom and justice and liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances, where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for. On our land. That’s not right.”

Kaepernick’s meeting with the media came after 49ers players held a meeting that saw Kaepernick address his teammates. Center Daniel Kilgore said he “took offense” to Kaepernick’s actions before Friday’s game, but after listening to his teammate said “I do stand with Kap when he says enough is enough against crime, violence, discrimination and racism.”

Others are sure to continue to share their disagreements with Kaepernick’s point of view as they have over the last few days, which is their right just as it is Kaepernick’s to be on the other side of the issue. That’s something worth appreciating about this country wherever you might fall on the spectrum.

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Devon Still facing likely fine for knocking off Carson Palmer’s helmet

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) AP

In Sunday’s Cardinals-Texans game, Houston linebacker John Simon made an athletic play on a screen pass, tipping the ball, catching it, and exploding for a long return to the end zone for a score. The more significant moment from a play in an otherwise insignificant preseason game came immediately after the interception.

Texans defensive lineman Devon Still, drafted by the Bengals months after Palmer decided he no longer was playing for the team, applied a helmet-to-helmet hit on Palmer as he lunged to make the tackle of Simon. The hit sent Palmer’s helmet flying.

(A current Bengal would say Palmer simply should have just run his ass back to the sideline.)

Even when a quarterback decides to try to make a tackle after a turnover, he can’t be hit in the head or neck area or with the helmet. The move, which didn’t draw a penalty flag on Still, will likely nevertheless result in a fine being imposed.

Palmer’s sideline demeanor suggested that he chipped a tooth on the play. Coupled with a pair of interceptions in limited work, Palmer’s 2016 isn’t starting much differently than his 2015 ended.

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