Jacksonville, Fla. — Jaguars owner Shad Khan says he would be open to signing free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Speaking to the team’s flagship radio station, Khan responded “absolutely” when asked Thursday whether he would support signing Kaepernick if the team’s front office wanted to do it.
Khan’s comments were not recorded, just relayed via Twitter.
According to 1010 XL, Khan said while he would not have knelt during the national anthem to protest social injustice in the United States the way Kaepernick did, the billionaire businessman respects the quarterback’s right to express his beliefs.
Tom Coughlin, the team’s executive vice president, has final say on personnel decisions. Coughlin declined comment Friday through a team spokesman.
Kaepernick remains unsigned after opting out of his contract with the 49ers. Many of those who support him believe the NFL is punishing the player for refusing to stand during the anthem in an effort to protest police brutality against blacks. More than 1,000 people crowded the steps of the NFL’s midtown Manhattan offices Wednesday to demand Kaepernick be signed before the start of the season.
Kaepernick has 72 touchdown passes, 30 interceptions and 13 rushing scores in six seasons, better numbers than Jaguars quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Chad Henne.
Khan’s comments came before Jacksonville’s third preseason game, a 24-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers that did little, if anything, to settle the team’s quarterback competition.
Longtime general manager and personnel administrator Bobby Beathard is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the contributors category.
Beathard helped build strong teams in football stops in Kansas City (1966-67), Miami (1972-77), Washington (1978-1988) and San Diego (1990-99). He also worked for Atlanta (1968-1971).
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