Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL job.
And Malcolm Jenkins isn't buying one bit of it being about the quarterback's talent level. In fact, Jenkins expressed his reasoning quite clearly on Thursday.
"This is just some other teams being, quite honestly, cowards, to say that they're afraid of backlash to sign someone to make their team better when fans' input has never been in the equation when it comes to signing people in the past," the Eagles' safety said to DelawareOnline.com's Martin Frank.
"It's certain owners' way of making an example out of [Kaepernick] to discourage anybody else from doing what he did."
Last season, Kaepernick raised eyebrows and made national headlines by kneeling during the national anthem in protest before 49ers games. Now a free agent, Kaepernick seems to be drawing little interest from NFL teams as training camps pick up. One team that has shown interest is the Ravens, but according to a report by ESPN's Dianna Russini, it's been curtailed by resistance from Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti.
"We're sensitive to it, we're monitoring it, and we're trying to figure out what's the right tact," Bisciotti said last week, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. "So pray for us."
In 2016 with San Francisco, Kaepernick threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions over 12 games. He also rushed for 468 yards and two scores. In 2012, he helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in which they lost to the Ravens, 34-31.
Jenkins, who has openly supported and discussed Kaepernick dating back to last season when the protests gained steam, is disappointed in the NFL.
"That message, to me, is loud and clear from owners as to where their priorities stand and how they go about picking and choosing who they want on their teams," he said. "It's definitely unfortunate, but it's shining a light on just how the NFL operates and what we deem as acceptable. It really has nothing to do with what's right or wrong, but what affects dollars. That's business as usual, but I think it's an unfortunate precedent to set."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday said he doesn't believe Kaepernick is being blackballed for his actions last season.
"No, teams make decisions [based] on what's in the best interest of their team … and they make those decisions individually," Goodell said.
It doesn't sound like Jenkins agrees.
"Four months ago, there was a debate as to whether [Kaepernick] is talented enough or whatever," Jenkins said. "I think at this point in time when you look at the quarterbacks who have jobs around the league, and the amount of owners and GMs who have only spoken of what fans would think about his stance. I think it's safe to throw out that talent argument, and basically focus on the fact that he doesn't have a job solely because he didn't stand for the anthem last year, even though he already expressed that he planned on standing this year."