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Pete Carroll says Colin Kaepernick is 'a starter in this league'

The Seahawks won’t be signing Kaepernick “at this time,” but Carroll had high praise for the quarterback.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Friday afternoon, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke about Colin Kaepernick’s visit with the team. Despite Kaepernick leaving without a deal, Carroll told reporters, “He’s a starter in this league.”

Carroll added, “We have a starter, but he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine that somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”

Kaepernick visited with the Seahawks on May 24, along with one other quarterback on the same day a rally was held to support him. Carroll said it was an opportunity to get to know Kaepernick, while knowing what’s available to the Seahawks. “At this time, we didn’t do anything with him. But we know where he is, who he is, and we had a chance to understand him much more so.”

When asked why Kaepernick didn’t have a job if Carroll felt he was a starter, he said, “That’s not my issue. We brought him in here to check him out and we know what we’re doing with him. I think it was productive for us to get to know him better.”

Carroll added that he had “never really” spoken to Kaepernick himself.

When asked whether he felt Kaepernick’s protest from last season has had an impact on his current situation, Carroll told reporters, “I don’t know that, let’s wait and see. There’s still some other guys out too.”

He also refused to say that the Seahawks were finished with Kaepernick, saying that the doors are always open. In terms of the team’s backup quarterback situation, Carroll felt it could still be improved. “We’re still trying to develop it and make sure that we’re making the right decisions, and we’ll continue to work at it.”

Overall, Carroll expressed positive feelings towards Kaepernick. He acknowledged Kaepernick’s capability of being a “championship guy” despite ups and downs throughout his career.

He continued to reiterate, “It doesn’t mean that we’re done.”