The Baltimore Ravens denied in a team statement on Wednesday that owner Steve Bisciotti is preventing the team from signing Colin Kaepernick.
The statement came in response to a report by ESPN's Diana Russini that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome are in favor of signing Kaepernick, but met resistance from Bisciotti.
“We are going through a process, and we have not made a decision. Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making those claims is wrong,” Newsome said in the statement.
According to the report, this would not have been the first time that a team has been interested in Kaepernick before ownership intervened.
Bisciotti had previously been vocal about his concerns and publicly noted that Kaepernick's protest is a factor on whether to sign him and would like to hear the opinion of fans and sponsors. "Your opinions matter to us," Bisciotti said this week. "We're very sensitive to it, and we're monitoring it, and we're still, as Ozzie says, scrimmaging it, and we're trying to figure out what's the right tact. So pray for us."
Last season, Kaepernick was among the biggest topics of conversation in the NFL as he protested the national anthem to raise awareness of social injustice. He has reportedly said that he will no longer protest in 2017. Teams’ apparent disinterest in signing him has become a major off-season storyline.
Kaepernick signing with the Ravens became a possibility after starting quarterback Joe Flacco sustained a back injury last week. The Ravens recently signed quarterback Josh Woodrum to a deal, who most recently played on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad.