Broncos LB: It's time for NFL to give Kaepernick a job

Broncos LB: It's time for NFL to give Kaepernick a job

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall says he appreciates NFL teams supporting the rights of their players to protest during the national anthem. He also suggests they show it by giving Colin Kaepernick a job .

“The dude, he’s in shape, he’s yoked, actually,” said Marshall, who saw his ex-college teammate on a TMZ video recently. “He’s so strong. He’s ready to go. He told me he’s been working out when I last talked to him. He said he’s just waiting for a call. That’s the next step.”

Marshall is among many players who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL teams over the movement he started last year when he declined to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the 2016 preseason to bring attention to racial inequality in America.

Kaepernick remains unsigned six months after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers and becoming a free agent.

“There’s a lot of (poor) quarterback play around the league,” Marshall said. “I’m not saying the Bears should sign him, but you know the player Mike Glennon is. You can’t tell me he’s better than Colin Kaepernick, and he’s a starter right now.”

Marshall, who attended the University of Nevada with Kaepernick, was one of the first NFL players to join Kaepernick in the national anthem protests last season. At times, Marshall was joined by a teammate or two, but for the most part he spent half the season as the sole protester on the Denver sideline.

He lost endorsements and fans over the protests. but also received kudos from general manager John Elway — who’s no fan of the kneel-downs — for backing up his actions with charity and community work.

Marshall ended his protests last year after Denver police agreed to change their use-of-force policy.

Marshall didn’t plan on kneeling this season, but he began reconsidering following the president’s response to the racially charged conflicts in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He stood apart from his teammates during the first two weeks of the season but didn’t take a knee until Sunday.

Marshall was among 200-plus players across the league who knelt, sat, stretched or prayer during the “Star Spangled Banner” in response to the president’s call for team owners to fire players who disrespect flag and country by refusing to stand for the anthem.

He was one of 32 Broncos who took a knee in Buffalo.

“Last year I did it all by myself for eight games, but it’s a lot different to have your brothers backing you,” Marshall said. “I think whenever we decide to come together and do something, there’s strength in numbers, they say, right? So, I definitely think that makes us stronger.”

Yet, coach Vance Joseph is concerned this divisive issue in society could also bisect his locker room. So he’s planning to address the issue with his players this week as they prepare for a game against the Oakland Raiders to “figure out what’s best for our football team to keep us together.”

The Dallas Cowboys took a knee together before the national anthem Monday night in Arizona and then stood arm-in-arm during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But Marshall said that’s no blueprint for the Broncos.

“Everybody’s not going to kneel,” Marshall said, noting Derek Wolfe’s comments about always standing for the flag.

Not everyone will stand, either, Marshall suggested.

“In my opinion that means nothing if we all stand and lock arms,” Marshall said. “I mean, I understand that’s showing unity. But I just don’t see the point in it.”

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.