On Thursday, Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh told reporters that he “wouldn’t rule out” signing Colin Kaepernick for help at quarterback now that Joe Flacco will miss an indeterminate amount of time with back soreness.
On Friday, the Ravens signed someone to help them at quarterback. It wasn’t Kaepernick, or anyone else you’ve likely ever heard of:
We have signed former Clemson QB David Olson.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 28, 2017
Olson most recently was seen playing for the Kansas City Phantoms of the Champions Indoor Football league, which isn’t even top-level indoor football. He played for Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, at Stanford — appearing in just one game over four seasons — before transferring to Clemson in 2014 for a fifth-year senior season in which he threw just three passes, completing one of them (for a one-yard loss).
According to his LinkedIn profile, Olson also spent some time as a “real estate assistant” in the San Francisco area and a “sales engineer” for a packaging company in his home state of South Carolina.
The Ravens obviously didn’t sign Olson to compete for the starting job, as Flacco could very well be back in a week and Olson will be fourth in line behind Flacco, Ryan Mallett and Dustin Vaughan. But they needed another arm for training camp in the short term, with ESPN noting that Baltimore had offensive assistant coach Matt Weiss line up under center and hand off to running backs during drills on the first day of practice Thursday.
I’m just speculating here, but chances are Kaepernick doesn’t merely want to be a “camp arm,” considering his NFL experience that includes a Super Bowl. ESPN also notes that the team signing Olson doesn’t preclude them from signing Kaepernick, as well, though Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio seemed dubious of that ever happening.
Mike Florio just said chances Ravens will sign Colin Kaepernick right now is "zero." @dpshow
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) July 28, 2017
“He and I have been talking throughout the summer a number of times,” Harbaugh said of Kaepernick Thursday. “We had some great conversations on the phone and it’s really been a pleasure to talk to him and get to know him. I like history and politics, too, and we’ve had some debates and it’s been fun.
“And he’s a great guy. He’s a guy right now that’s being talked about. We’ll just see what happens with that. Only speculation right now. He’s a really good football player and, like I said, I do believe he’ll be playing in the National Football League this year.”
On Friday, Harbaugh stressed that Flacco is day-to-day with the injury, so there’s no immediate need to think about replacing him on a long-term basis just yet.
John Harbaugh on Kap: "Joe is day to day, so do we really need to make that move or not?" says no questions about Colin's ability
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 28, 2017