Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy told reporters that free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s play is usurped by the “distraction” that comes along with a team signing him.
“It’s a lot more than just he’s not on the team because he doesn’t want to stand for the national anthem,” McCoy said at his locker following practice on Thursday. “That may have something to do with it, but I think also it has a lot to do with his play. I’m sure a lot of teams wouldn’t want him as their starting quarterback. That chaos that comes along with it, it’s a lot.
“As a team, trying to win and not have a distraction on the team, I just take that as a player — there’s certain players that could be on the team with big distractions, and there’s other players that it’s not good enough or not worth it. I think his situation is not good enough to have him on the team with all the attention that comes along with it. I’m sure if a guy like (Tom) Brady or a guy like whoever is your favorite player — Odell Beckham or a guy like that — you’ll deal with that attention and play him.”
McCoy didn’t stop there, saying that the commentary surrounding the unsigned Kaepernick is coming from people he deems as “followers.”
“I think the whole Kaepernick situation, in this country you can believe what you want, freedom of speech,” McCoy said. “I think maybe they could choose a better platform to state their beliefs. One thing I’ve learned about is that people in America, they’re followers. There’s some people that if you ask about these topics, they’ll say what they heard, not what they know.”
More than 1,000 people gathered outside of NFL headquarters in New York on Wednesday calling for the quarterback to be signed by a team.
Kaepernick has been a man without a team since early March after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The 29-year-old’s unemployment has sparked conversation as to whether he is being blackballed for his decision to kneel during the national anthem during games to raise awareness for social injustices.
Kaepernick passed for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions while fumbling a career-worst seven times with the 49ers last season. He also ran for 468 yards and two touchdowns.
In six NFL seasons, Kaepernick has passed for 12,271 yards with 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, adding another 2,300 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
Kaepernick started the 2016 campaign as the 49ers’ backup behind Blaine Gabbert before taking over as the starter on Oct. 16.
With Kaepernick under center, the 49ers lost nine straight and 10 of 11 overall to finish the season with the second-worst record in the NFL at 2-14.