Lamar Jackson has jump-started the Baltimore Ravens’ offense, but it was almost Colin Kaepernick who had the opportunity. During a recent episode of Ian Rapoport’s podcast “Rapsheet and Friends,” the reporter discussed the Ravens’ prior interest in Kaepernick with NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
“Ian, let’s not forget, you reported on it [in 2017]. They were going to do that [build an offense] with Kaepernick,” Wyche explained on the podcast. “They were going to sign Kaepernick a couple years ago until one ill-fated tweet sabotaged that. Again, they were ready to pull the trigger on this before Lamar Jackson was even on the roster.”
Rapoport confirmed that Kaepernick to the Ravens was almost a done deal back in 2017.
“That’s true, and I think at that point Greg Roman was not offensive coordinator but on the staff,” Rapoport noted.
Kaepernick recently hosted a workout just outside Atlanta with seven teams in attendance, per ESPN. It remains to be seen whether a team will make a move to sign Kaepernick, but nothing is expected to happen until the offseason.
Ray Lewis Encouraged the Ravens to Sign Kaepernick
Kaepernick had some support from people close to the Ravens organization. Ray Lewis has been open about how much he campaigned for the Ravens to sign Kaepernick. Lewis detailed his thoughts on the situation during a 2017 episode of Inside the NFL.
“I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has,” Lewis said, per The Baltimore Sun.” “I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it…Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’…When they [the Ravens] called me, it was to say, ‘Yes,’ or, ‘No.’ … We were going to close the deal to sign him. … Steve Bisciotti said, ‘I want to hear Colin Kaeperkick speak to let me know that he wants to play football.’ … And it never happens because that picture comes up the next day.”
The Ravens Are Running a Similar Offense to What the 49ers Had With Kaepernick
The Ravens opted not to sign Kaepernick and a year later ended up drafting Jackson. There are elements of the Ravens offense with Jackson that are similar to what Roman ran with Kaepernick while the two were with the 49ers.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll squared off against Kaepernick many times inside the NFC West and admitted there are similarities between the two offenses prior to the Seattle-Baltimore game earlier this season.
“Yeah, he’s [Lamar Jackson] doing everything,” Carroll noted at his weekly press conference. “I mean, he is doing everything you can think of and they run every play. They got every scheme. They’ve got every pass action. He can throw the ball all over the field. He’s down the field and he’s got quick-game accuracy, on the move stuff. He can do everything. It is a remarkable offense they are putting together right now, and it is very challenging.”