The NFLPA announced second quarter merchandise sales figures, and the top of the list is not overly surprising. Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Marshawn Lynch, and Russell Wilson are in the top five. The San Francisco 49ers highest ranked player is NaVorro Bowman at No. 44. And free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick ranks No. 39. He is the only player on the list who is not playing for a team right now.
The Baltimore Ravens have spoken with Kaepernick about a potential role following Joe Flacco’s injury. The team has brought in two camp bodies since news of Flacco’s injury, but with Ryan Mallett reportedly struggling in training camp, it makes sense to bring in a significant challenge for the backup quarterback role.
Owner Steve Bisciotti seems concerned about potentially blowback over such a signing. A fan asked him at an open forum if he is considering how it might impact the brand. Team president Dick Cass said the team is speaking with fans and sponsors.
This all comes amidst a survey that pointed to a percentage of fans saying they’ve cut back their NFL viewing because of the protest. 26 percent of a group of people cited the protest as a reason for cutting back. The survey was of 9,200 people, and 12 percent of those people said they watched less NFL football. That means the 26 percent is actually three percent of those surveyed. On the one hand, there are numerous questions about methodology, and the value of land-line surveys. On the other hand, as Ethan Strauss pointed out, three percent is still a sizable chunk of people if it translates to the broader NFL fanbase.
The Ravens decision to check with sponsors and fans would suggest the coaching staff wants to do a deal. Bisciotti acknowledged a lot of passion on both sides, and high sales of merchandise would suggest there are plenty of people passionate about Kaepernick’s cause and/or his worth as a football player. There has been no update on Flacco’s injury since last week, and Baltimore plays their preseason opener a week from Thursday. If they’re going to sign Colin Kaepernick, it would likely happen in the next couple days.