Colin Kaepernick could thrive with the Baltimore Ravens, according to NFL analyst and retired quarterback Boomer Esiason.
Kaepernick could be the perfect complement to starter and league MVP Lamar Jackson, and he could also help ease some of the racial issues in Baltimore City. In fact, Esiason contends the Ravens are the "only team" where Kaepernick would fit because of their infrastructure.
“The reason I say that is because you have a top-five NFL coach in John Harbaugh, an established, young African-American quarterback in Lamar Jackson who is coming off an MVP season and everybody expects him to improve this year even more so than last year and they are going to be a very good team," Esiason said on the Boomer and Gio Show.
"There is racial tension down in Baltimore as there has been for years and years and years and years, and I would think that would be the one team who could handle signing Colin Kaepernick from a PR standpoint – both positive and negative There has to be a balance on both sides.”
Kaepernick has not taken a snap in the NFL since 2016 amid criticism for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality — an issue currently at the forefront with the recent death of George Floyd.
Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Video showed police officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old Floyd for over eight minutes outside a convenience store. Floyd pleaded with Chauvin numerous times to ease the pressure, saying "I can't breathe."
Floyd's death has sparked outrage across the nation, prompting protests and galvanizing professional athletes across all sports to put an end to police brutality on African-Americans.
Chauvin was arrested and later charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers — Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane — that were involved in the arrest were also charged with aiding and abetting murder.
The Ravens, as an organization, have also promoted social justice. The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation and the Ravens have jointly committed funds to support social justice reform throughout the Baltimore community. A committee of current and former Ravens players will determine which Baltimore-area programs will directly benefit from the contribution.
Jackson honored the late Floyd on social media with a photo of him wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey emblazoned with Ray Lewis' number 52. Shortly thereafter, the Hall-of-Famer Lewis shared the same photo.
Over six NFL seasons with the 49ers, Kaepernick threw for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions for an 88.9 quarterback rating. At age 32, there is a question of whether he'd be willing to take a backup role. The Ravens already have Robert Griffin III, Trace McSorley, and rookie Tyler Huntley on the roster as backups, so a lot of things would have to fall into place for Kaepernick to land in Baltimore.
“Is he willing to come back as a backup and make a million or $2 million or does he see himself as a martyr and he should be paid for the amount of time he has been out of the league? Because he believes, and other people think, he has been blackballed,” Esiason said.