Doug Baldwin Says Owners Trying to Send Message by Not Signing Colin Kaepernick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2017

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers talks with wide receiver Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks after the game at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Having expressed doubt Colin Kaepernick's social activism negatively impacted his odds of signing with a new team, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin recently changed his viewpoint.

Baldwin explained his reversal when speaking to reporters Saturday, per ESPN.com's Sheil Kapadia:

"My original position was I thought that the situation last year with him taking a knee didn't have anything to do with it. After viewing what's going on, I've got to take that back. I definitely think that the league, the owners are trying to send a message of, 'Stay in between the lines.' It's frustrating because you want to have guys who are willing to speak out about things that they believe in, whether you agree with it or not. But I think that's definitely playing a role now moreso than I thought it was going to."

In June, Baldwin said Kaepernick's activism and national anthem protest last year were "really minor" factors when it came to his failure to find a new team, per Kapadia. Baldwin also expressed his belief that teams were looking to sign younger passers than the 29-year-old Kaepernick.

Kaepernick visited with the Seahawks in May, but the team went in a different direction. Recently, he was linked with the Baltimore Ravens. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome were in favor of signing Kaepernick, but team owner Steve Bisciotti had reservations about the move.

On Wednesday, the Ravens posted a statement from Newsome on Twitter, with the GM saying Bisciotti wasn't preventing Baltimore from adding Kaepernick:

ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Thursday the Miami Dolphins front office had included Kaepernick as a possible target after starter Ryan Tannehill suffered a knee injury in practice. ESPN.com's Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington reported Tannehill may require season-ending surgery to repair his left knee.

Kaepernick appeared in 12 games last year, throwing for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

New York Giants co-owner John Mara told The MMQB's Jenny Vrentas in May that the team never considered signing Kaepernick this summer, but it didn't stop some of the team's fans from expressing concern with his potential arrival.

"All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue," Mara said. "'If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game.' It wasn't one or two letters. It was a lot. It's an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I've run into."

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