"Colin Kaepernick is zero distraction," the former San Francisco 49ers coach said on the Know Them From Adam podcast with Adam Schefter (h/t Rob Lowder of The Niners Wire). "He's a great player that can help you win."
Kelly went on to explain that the quarterback cleared the air with the team in the preseason after the initial protest against the national anthem.
"After that point we heard from the outside what a distraction it is except those people weren't in our locker room and Kap never was a distraction and turned it into a circus," he added, via Stephen Florival of BSO. "He came into work everyday, extremely diligent in terms of his preparation, in terms of his work ethic in the weight room, in terms of his work ethic in the meeting room."
Although Kelly's one season in San Francisco didn't go as planned after he finished with a 2-14 record and wa fired, Kaepernick was hardly the cause of the problems. The quarterback threw 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions while posting a respectable 90.7 quarterback rating.
Despite that, he remains unsigned as a free agent heading into next season. His protests appear to have marked him a distraction and not worth the positives he brings to a team.
Even Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said "he's a starter in this league" but failed to sign him when given the opportunity, per Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com.
Perhaps an endorsement from his former coach will be enough to cause teams to change their minds.