Asked Thursday if the Denver Broncos would consider signing Colin Kaepernick as a veteran backup, general manager John Elway said the quarterback’s opportunity to join the Broncos came and went in 2016.
“Colin had his chance to be here,” Elway told reporters, referencing the Broncos’ trade discussions with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016 offseason. “We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. So, as I said it in my deposition (for Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the NFL) — and I don’t know if I’m legally able to say this — but he’s had his chance to be here. He passed it.”
The Broncos and 49ers got far enough in trade discussions during the spring of 2016 that Kaepernick was allowed to meet with Elway. The GM reportedly asked Kaepernick to take a paycut of $12.4 million combined over the final two seasons of his deal, a six-year, $114 million pact that had been signed in 2014, and Kaepernick declined. No trade was ever made.
That August, Kaepernick knelt in protest during the national anthem for the first time, during a preseason game. He played in 12 games that regular season for the 49ers before opting out of his contract in March of 2017, though many expected the team to release him if he did not opt out. He has not played in the NFL since.
—Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack will not report to the team before Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams, and his holdout has ‘no end in sight,’ according to an ESPN report.
Mack, who has missed one game thus far, is subject to fines of $814,000 for every preseason contest missed, per the collective bargaining agreement. He is also subject to fines for his absence from mandatory minicamp in June and the entirety of training camp in Napa, Calif., as the Raiders wrapped up a day early on Wednesday.
Mack, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, will make $13.85 million this season in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, after he earned $18.7 million through his first four seasons.
—Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden ended training camp a day early when he called off practice.
Gruden did not give a reason for the unexpected move. Fans who showed up to watch were turned away at the gates. Players packed up instead of practicing and left Napa to head back to team headquarters 60 miles south in Alameda, Calif.
Gruden sounded satisfied with the Raiders’ work when he met the media after Wednesday’s practice. Canceling the session gives the players an extra day off before they play the Rams on Saturday.
—Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not sustain a concussion during a collision that caused him to leave Tuesday’s practice, and he will play Aug. 25 in the team’s third preseason game, according to an ESPN report.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Roethlisberger’s helmet was jarred loose in a collision with right tackle Marcus Gilbert on Tuesday.
Roethlisberger stayed on the ground for a while after the collision but eventually walked off. Coach Mike Tomlin announced later that day in a statement that Roethlisberger was being evaluated by team doctors in the concussion protocol.
—As he ramps up his activity level in joint practices with the Detroit Lions, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains confident that his contract situation will be resolved with the team.
“I definitely think it’s gonna work itself out,” Beckham, who is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, told reporters. “You know, when is it gonna happen, you don’t know. That’s the business side that is new, is still new to me in a sense — it’s the first time I’ve ever had to deal with this or go through any of those things.”
Beckham, 25, is still working back from a broken ankle that required surgery and kept him out of all but four games last season, but he has made big strides this week in practices against the Lions. He’s taken more reps in up-tempo sessions against the Lions, including Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.
—Rookie running back Saquon Barkley is “coming along” but likely to sit out Friday’s preseason game for the New York Giants.
Head coach Pat Shurmur reiterated that Barkley’s hamstring strain is minor and the team is being cautious with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Barkley stretched and did light running on the sideline Thursday as the Giants continued joint workouts with the Lions. The Giants play at Ford Field on Friday after opening the preseason against the Cleveland Browns last week.
—New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his preseason debut against the Philadelphia Eagles in Foxborough, Mass.
Multiple outlets reported the plan was for Brady to play much, if not all, of the first half before ceding to backup Brian Hoyer. The last time Brady faced Philadelphia, he threw for a playoff-record 505 yards along with three touchdowns, but the Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the Eagles in Minneapolis.
Brady, who turned 41 on Aug. 3, said in a radio appearance earlier this week he “absolutely” planned to play after missing the team’s preseason opener with a sore back. He took more reps in practice this week after missing some in previous sessions.
—Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will make his preseason debut Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks, but defensive end Joey Bosa and guard Forrest Lamp will be held out with injuries, head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters.
Bosa has been out nine days since suffering a foot injury during practice that was deemed “nothing serious.” After being activated from the physically unable to perform list, Lamp practiced on Monday for the first time since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last August.
Starting cornerback Trevor Williams, who sprained his left ankle early in camp, will also sit out when the Chargers host the Seahawks.
—Field Level Media