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Quotables: Colin Kaepernick thanks Alex Smith for being mentor

After signing one of the biggest deals in NFL history, Kaepernick took time to fondly remember a former teammate.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

"I don't think I would be at this point so quickly if (Alex Smith) hadn't been such a great mentor to me and helped me along."

-Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback

Kaepernick is the latest quarterback to become a very, very rich man when he signed a six-year, $126 million contract on Wednesday. The former second-round pick took time to remember the man he originally backed up in San Francisco, Alex Smith (who is now the starter for the Kansas City Chiefs) per NFL.com's Mike Coppinger.

Smith was unseated by Kaepernick in the middle of the 2012-13 season when he suffered a concussion. Kaepernick then led the 49ers to a Super Bowl berth before ultimately losing to the Baltimore Ravens.

Currently, Smith has one year left on his deal with the Chiefs and could see his negotiations be affected by Kaepernick's new contract.

"It's fairly obvious that (using substances) is more important to him than anything else."

-Cris Carter, Hall of Fame receiver

Carter was speaking about Josh Gordon, the ultra-talented but often-troubled receiver of the Cleveland Browns, per CBS Sports' John Breech. Gordon, who came into the league via a supplemental draft pick, was suspended for the first two games of his career due to failing a drug test.

Currently, Gordon faces a potential year-long ban for failing a second drug test. Carter is very familiar with the struggles of addiction, having seem them almost put him out of the league early in his career. However, Carter was able to get his drug and alcohol problems under control and became one of the greatest receivers to ever don a uniform.

"He [Johnny Manziel] hasn't played a down in the NFL yet."

Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns running back

Tate, who is in his first season with the Browns after signing as a free agent, is tiring of all the Johnny Manziel talk, according to CBS Sports' John Breech. Unfortunately for Tate, those storylines are likely far from being talked out. Manziel, who was taken 22nd overall by Cleveland with its second first-round pick, is battling Brian Hoyer for the starting job.

With Gordon perhaps out until 2015, the Browns might feel additional pressure to start Manziel given the excitement level surrounding him. The former Heisman Trophy winner is currently vying for position on the depth chart behind Hoyer and ahead of Tyler Thigpen.

"The storylines don't all lead back to me and that's fine. It's about 'we.' It's time for us."

-Robert Griffin, Washington Redskins quarterback

After going through an extremely disappointing 3-13 campaign which saw him get benched for the final three games, Griffin is happy to have the media glare elsewhere this offseason, according to ESPN's John Keim. Griffin has a new coach in Jay Gruden after seeing Mike Shanahan get the boot, and expects things to turn around.

With DeSean Jackson in the fold, the Redskins are expected to be improved offensively with Griffin escaping the sophomore jinx. Coming off a serious knee injury, Griffin turned the ball over 18 times last season compared to only eight occasions his rookie season.

"I’m just going to say this: bull—-," Rivera said. "That locker room is our locker room. That’s our locker room. I have a vested interest in what goes on in that locker room."

- Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers head coach

Rivera was at the NFL's Career Development Symposium last weekend and had the opportunity to speak about the locker room culture within the league, per Jenny Vrentas of the Monday Morning Quarterback. The fourth-year head coach was referring to the notion of the locker room belonging to the players, instead of belonging to both the players and coaches.

Rivera, who once was a linebacker for the Chicago Bears' fabled 1985 defense, pointed out that during the bullying scandal which enveloped the Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and his staff were hammered for not knowing what was going on in the locker room.