Pete Carroll wished he would have signed Colin Kaepernick when he had the chance. The Seattle Seahawks head coach spoke to reporters Thursday and discussed the time when the team brought in Kaepernick for a visit in 2017. At the time, Kaepernick was a free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers earlier that year.
"I regret that we weren't the one way back when that just did it just to do it, even though I thought that it wasn't the right fit necessarily for us at the time," Carroll said via ESPN. He also revealed the reason for not signing Kaepernick: "I held him in such a high regard, I didn't see him as a backup quarterback and I didn't want to put him in that situation with [Russell Wilson]." When asked about signing him now, Carroll said things have already been sorted. "We're kind of set up right now, so football-wise, it doesn't seem to fit us like I said. But there's a lot of time here. We'll see what happens," he said.
Carroll talked about the meetings he had with Kaepernick and said they were "great." He revealed the two "spent half a day together and he spent time with our people throughout the building and almost a full day, and he was awesome." Carroll added he thought he was going to sign with another team because of his talent. "I wish we would have contributed to it because the guy deserved to play. I thought at the time, just our situation, as a backup, man, I didn't feel it was right at that time. So I had to make that football decision."
Last year, the NFL planned a workout for Kaepernick in Atlanta in hopes he would sign with a team. However, the former 49ers QB decided to hold his own workout in a different venue in the area. Carroll said the Seahawks sent a scout to attend the workout. In 2016, Kaepernick began to protest during the national anthem by kneeling, which became a very controversial topic across the league. It led to teams staying away from him in 2017, and Carroll said looking back at it, Kaepernick made the right decision due to the issues going on in the country right now in terms of racial injustice and police brutality.