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NFL: Gruden says Redskins discussed Kaepernick

NFL: Gruden says Redskins discussed Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick warms up before a game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 1, 2017 in Santa Clara. Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden says the team "talked about and discussed" bringing in Kaepernick for a tryout. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

The possibility of bringing in Colin Kaepernick for a tryout was “discussed” by the quarterback-needy Washington Redskins, according to coach Jay Gruden, who said Tuesday the team made a “strictly football” decision to look elsewhere.

“Isn’t it obvious what the real reason is?” Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, wrote in an email to the Associated Press.

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Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, hasn’t played since the 2016 season, when he began kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality and social and racial injustice. He filed a grievance against the NFL last year, saying team owners colluded to keep him off rosters.

Gruden told reporters during a conference call that there would have been “a greater possibility” of considering Kaepernick for a roster spot if the Redskins were in need of a quarterback in Week 1 rather than at this stage of the season.

“Not a lot of time to really get a brand new quarterback and new system installed and taught in a couple of days of practice,” Gruden said. “So he’s been talked about and discussed, but we’ll probably go a different direction.”

Added Gruden: “You want to have somebody with a similar skill-set to the quarterback you have. Not that Colin can’t do some of the things that I’m talking about, but somebody with a little bit of familiarity.”

Benjamin cut

The Buffalo Bills cut Kelvin Benjamin with four weeks left in the season in an indication of how the receiver underperformed during his 13 months with the team.

Benjamin had just 23 catches on 62 targets for 354 yards and one touchdown, and was knocked for several drops as well as running poor routes this season. He has topped 50 yards receiving only once — a five-catch, 71-yard outing in a 37-5 loss at Indianapolis in October — and finished with two or fewer catches nine times in 12 games this season.

That wasn’t the type of production the Bills were expecting from the 2014 first-round draft pick they acquired in a trade with Carolina on Oct. 31, 2017.

49ers’ long snapper gets 10-game ban

San Francisco 49ers long snapper Kyle Nelson has been suspended 10 games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Nelson will miss the final four games of this season and the first six in 2019 under the suspension handed out Tuesday.

Nelson says he believes the positive test came from a legal supplement.

Etc.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is dealing with a sprained left ankle and will not play Sunday when the AFC North leaders take on the last-place Oakland Raiders. ... Long snapper Josh Harris is the eighth Atlanta Falcons player to land on injured reserve. The team announced Tuesday that he’s done for year because of a hip injury. Longtime Oakland long snapper Jon Condo was signed by the Falcons.

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