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Hue Jackson encouraged Browns to sign Colin Kaepernick in 2017

© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick hasn’t played a down in the NFL since 2016, following his decision to kneel during the national anthem. If it were up to one former NFL head coach, though, Kaepernick would still be starting in the NFL.

Hue Jackson on Colin Kaepernick: “I wanted him”

Coming off a 1-15 season in 2016, Hue Jackson wanted to bring a spark to Cleveland. So, when Kaepernick became a free agent during the 2017 offseason, Jackson encouraged the Browns to sign him.

“I wanted him,” Jackson said, via WKNR Radio Cleveland (H/T Jeff Schudel). “It just didn’t work out. Obviously, those things do have to work from a finance, draft, whatever all that is. And that wasn’t my decision.”

Instead, the Broncos went against Jackson’s recommendation. The team drafted Deshone Kizer with the No. 52 pick with a hope that he could be their quarterback of the future.

Everything went south after that for Jackson and the Browns. Cleveland went 0-16 during the 2017 NFL season, Kizer lasted just a year with the organization and Jackson was let go less than a year later.

The NFL recently admitted it was wrong to push against Kaepernick’s protest, which led to dozens of players taking a knee during the national anthem. As for Kaepernick, the 32-year-old held a workout in 2019, but a return to the NFL seems doubtful.