Earlier tonight, the NFL used its Twitter megaphone to broadcast to 25.3 million followers the recent sentiments of Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Colin Kaepernick.
“Well, listen, if he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it’s gonna take a team to make that decision,” Goodell told ESPN on Monday. “But I welcome that, support a club making that decision, and encourage them to do that.”
Publicly stating that he encourages a team to sign Kaepernick and privately twisting arms to get him signed are two different things. Backroom deals, as previously mentioned, happen all the time. If the league and/or Goodell truly wanted Kaepernick on a team, it already would be done.
Maybe a nudge from Goodell isn’t needed. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before a team realizes that there’s an actual business benefit, both from a football and a non-football perspective, to having Kaepernick on the roster. He’s better than plenty of backup quarterbacks, he instantly would have the highest-selling jersey in all of sports, the team that signs him would immediately gain a national following, and the coach, executive, and/or owner who makes it happen would be regarded as a modern-day Branch Rickey.
Maybe Goodell is, for now, giving the teams a chance to figure that out on their own. If they don’t, it wouldn’t be difficult for Goodell to get one of the NFL’s 32 teams to take one for the team, especially since there are plenty of things that could be promised to that team by the league office in order to get the deal done.