Thursday’s NFL: McCoy says signing Kaepernick not worth trouble

Detroit News wire services

Orchard Park, N.Y. — Bills running back LeSean McCoy believes one reason teams haven’t signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick is because he represents too much of a distraction for a player who would likely be a backup.

“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 on Thursday. “That may have something to do with it, but I think also it has a lot to do with his play.”

Kaepernick remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the 49ers after last season. Some fans have complained he is not with a team because owners and the NFL are punishing him for refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks.

“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,” McCoy said.

He said it’s easier on teams to take on a distraction if it involves a star player such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. He said that’s not the case with Kaepernick because Kaepernick would have difficulty making some rosters.

“He’s really not that good of a player, you know what I’m saying?” he said.

McCoy didn’t change his stance when his former Eagles teammate Michael Vick was brought up as comparison, even though a distinction was made Vick had been convicted of a crime.

Vick signed with Philadelphia after spending 18 months in prison on dog fighting charges, drawing criticism from some fans who believed he should not be allowed to play pro football. Kaepernick has not been accused of any crimes.

“That’s a great example. Take a guy like Michael Vick, who went through all that he went through,” McCoy said.

“He’s 10 times better than Kaepernick. So you’ll deal with that situation, you’ll deal with that attention, the media aspect of it, the good, the bad attention to it compared to Kaepernick.”

McCoy shared his views while answering a question about his views about players protesting the anthems.

He said he believes in freedom of speech while adding he believes players can “choose a better platform to state their beliefs.”

More than 1,000 people crowded the steps of the NFL’s midtown Manhattan offices on Wednesday to demand Kaepernick be signed by a team before the start of the season next month.

Extra points

Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and Packers guard Jerry Kramer have been picked as the senior finalists for the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

The Packers won’t have right tackle Bryan Bulaga (ankle) available for Saturday’s preseason game at Denver.

... Raiders Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn is expected to get on the field for at least a few plays on Saturday at Dallas after ending his lengthy contract holdout on Wednesday.

... The Cowboys also are expected to play running back Ezekiel Elliott, who will serve a six-game suspension when the regular season begins.

... The Giants signed defensive back Tim Scott, filling a roster spot that opened when Valentino Blake left the team.

... Texans receiver Jaelen Strong was suspended without pay for the team’s season opener for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

ESPN: Stafford in top 10

It’s a question that seems to be debated among Lions fans each season: Is Matthew Stafford an elite quarterback? ESPN’s answer: No, but he’s close.

That’s with the help of plenty of NFL personnel, who helped ESPN come up with its quarterback tier ranking. Fifty people had votes, according to ESPN.

Stafford is tied for eighth in the rankings, which list 36 quarterbacks divvied up into five tiers, with Tier 1 being the tops. Stafford is in Tier 2.

A Tier 2 quarterback “can carry his team sometimes, but not as consistently.”