The Washington Redskins signed journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson on Tuesday to back up Mark Sanchez following injuries to Alex Smith and Colt McCoy.
Despite the debilitating quarterback injuries, the Redskins remain in the playoff hunt at 6-6. But by choosing a quarterback who hasn’t thrown a pass since 2011 over Colin Kaepernick, the Redskins essentially conceded their playoff hopes to keep Kaepernick out of the league.
Head coach Jay Gruden said that they passed on Kaepernick because his skillset didn’t fit. Few bought the explanation at the time, and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman had no problem putting Washington and other NFL teams on blast for the increasingly obvious blackballing of Kaepernick.
Sherman said in an appearance on the #PFTPM podcast, via ProFootballTalk:
“I think it’s one of those situations where, it’s disappointing, but that’s exactly the case, you know, because there’s nothing legally stopping the teams from doing it. There’s not enough public pressure, nothing that’s going to force a team to [sign him], you know? . . . Like at first it was, ‘Colin Kaepernick’s stats weren’t good enough’ or ‘he stopped playing at a high level,’ and then you see some of the quarterbacks that they picked up and you’re like, ‘Well, you know, if you’re picking up Mark Sanchez, he’s has some up and down years.’ Colt McCoy’s the same way.
“They’ve had up and down years and Colin has played at a higher level than I would say any of those guys ever performed at the peak of their careers. You start to see stuff like that and it’s almost like teams are purposefully making it obvious that, like, they’re keeping him out. Unfortunately there has, to this point, been nothing that the courts or the league has done about it and that’s the disappointing part, because these good football players didn’t commit a crime, he didn’t put his hands on anybody, murder anybody, you know, do anything that’s that insanely crazy that he deserves to be banned from our football league.”
It has been just over a year since Kaepernick filed his collusion grievance against the NFL, and has remained a free agent since the end of the 2016 season, when he began the National Anthem protests.