FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that he has not spoken directly with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti about the team’s interest in signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick, although the issue did come up at a Ravens fan forum Sunday.
“I didn’t have a conversation with Steve [about Kaepernick],” Goodell said after a fan forum at the Jets’ facility on Monday. “It came up in the [Ravens’] fan forum. Those are independent decisions that the clubs make. They hope to do what is in the best interests of their franchise.”
Goodell repeatedly has said he does not believe Kaepernick is being prevented from joining an NFL team because of his decision not to stand for the national anthem last year while he was with the 49ers. Kaepernick initially sat on the bench during the anthem and then took a knee while the song was played.
Kaepernick was released by the 49ers in the offseason and has drawn minimal interest from teams. Other than the Ravens, who have spoken directly with him to gauge his interest about playing, the Seahawks were the only team to consider signing him. They instead decided to sign Austin Davis to back up Russell Wilson.
“Steve [Bisciotti] was talking about the approach they’re taking,” Goodell said. “Obviously, they’re considering a lot of issues, and they’re going to make that evaluation.”
The Ravens are in the market for a backup to Joe Flacco, who is out with a back injury. He is expected back for the regular season, but backup Ryan Mallett has not impressed early in training camp.
Asked at the Ravens’ fan forum if he risked hurting his team’s “brand” by signing Kaepernick, Bisciotti said, “We’re very sensitive to it and we’re monitoring it, and we’re still, as Ozzie [Newsome, the general manager] said, scrimmaging it. So pray for us.”