Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

After taking over for Blaine Gabbert midway through last season, Colin Kaepernick found a favorite target in wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Kaepernick took aim at Kerley 68 times and connected 37 times for 345 yards and one touchdown.

A year later, neither is with the 49ers. Kaepernick remains unsigned while Kerley signed with the Jets after being released by San Francisco.

Recently, Kerley spoke to the New York Daily News about whether Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league.

"If I was Colin Kaepernick, if I was in his shoes, I would probably feel like I was being blackballed. But I'm not him. I'm not in his shoes. So, I just think it sucks. It sucks for him, because he's good enough to be on a football team. He can definitely help someone's team being a backup or potentially being a starter. So, I am shocked, definitely," Kerley said.

Kerley addressed the fact that Kaepernick remains unsigned.

"It's a helpless feeling. It's an unfortunate feeling. You almost feel like you're worthless. You know what I mean? At the same time, Colin has a strong mindset. That's one thing I respect about him. He has a strong mindset. I'm pretty sure that he knows that he can play in this league. He knows what he can do. At the end of the day, some stuff is just out of your control. He can't control being on a team right now. It's not like you can just force your way in and be on a team," Kerley said.

"It's unfortunate. I don't necessarily say it's sad. I don't necessarily say it's bad for this person or that person. It's just unfortunate, because I know the dude wants to play football," Kerley added.

Kerley also took to task the theory that Kaepernick remains unsigned because he would be a distraction in whichever locker room he entered.

"Believe it or not, it was no distraction. He caused no distraction. No distraction at all. … Every time he talked to the media, it was almost like he made sure that he kind of did it off to the side. He didn't bring any attention to himself or to the team. I respected him a lot," Kerley said.

When asked if his former teammate will be picked up by an NFL team at some point, Kerley is holding out hope.

"I feel like he deserves it. But it's just crazy how that goes," Kerley said.

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.