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Ravens OC Greg Roman says he's 'rooting' for Colin Kaepernick to return to NFL

Daniel Oyefusi, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Football

BALTIMORE -- As the NFL has publicly shifted its stance on player protests during the national anthem, with Commissioner Roger Goodell recently admitting that the league was wrong for not listening to players fighting for racial equality, many have called for quarterback Colin Kaepernick to get another shot to play in the league.

Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who coached Kaepernick for four seasons in San Francisco, said he is "rooting" for the quarterback's return.

"I had a great experience working with Colin," Roman told reporters Tuesday in a virtual meeting. "I certainly wish him the best, and I'm hopeful for him if that's what he chooses to do, to get back and play. I don't know exactly where he's at with that, where every team in the league is.

"But one thing's for sure: I'm always rooting for him. Colin was a treat to coach and I wish him the best. However that goes, it goes, and I'm certainly in his corner rooting for him."

Roman served as the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2015, spearheading a unique offensive system around Kaepernick, who took San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII, a 34-31 loss to the Ravens.

Roman has since implemented a similar offense with quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, setting the NFL's regular-season rushing record last season.

Kaepernick, 32, began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem during the 2016 preseason to protest police brutality against people of color and racial injustice. He continued his silent protest, which became a polarizing topic nationwide, and has not been signed since the end of the 2016 season.

The Ravens flirted with the idea of signing Kaepernick in the summer of 2017 after starter Joe Flacco was sidelined for all of training camp with a back injury. The team ultimately did not sign Kaepernick, and former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis claimed the team reversed course after a "racial gesture" from radio host and Kaepernick's girlfriend, Nessa Diab.

 

Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, claiming owners colluded to keep him out of the NFL. In February 2019, Kaepernick, as well as former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, reached a settlement with the league.

After several NFL stars released a video challenging the NFL to admit wrongdoing in its handling of protests and support the Black Lives Matter movement after protests incited by the death of George Floyd, Goodell responded, saying the league was wrong about player protests and declaring that "Black lives matter."

While Kaepernick remains unsigned, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently said a team called him to inquire about the quarterback. Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn last week said Kaepernick fits the Chargers' system and that "it would be crazy to not have him on your workout list."

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