Panthers' Thomas Davis, Bills' LeSean McCoy have differing opinions on Colin Kaepernick

Just like the public at large, NFL players have differing opinions on Colin Kaepernick and his status as an unemployed quarterback as other QBs less talented have been able to get jobs.

On Wednesday, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2014 and a Pro Bowler each of the past two years, told SI Now’s Maggie Gray that he’d welcome Kaepernick to the Panthers if, say, the team needed him because Cam Newton had a setback with his recovering shoulder.

Panthers LB Thomas Davis said he’d welcome Colin Kaepernick to the team if Carolina needed him. (AP)

“For me as a player, we would definitely love to have a player like Kaepernick because we know what he has to offer to this game,” Davis said. “We know that he’s a guy that can come in and he play right away.  He’s proven that he can lead his team to the Super Bowl. If you look at his numbers, he’s had some pretty decent numbers from a quarterback standpoint.

“At the end of the day, that’s what you want. You want to focus in on football. You know there’s a lot that’s going on in the outside so I commend Kaep on raising the awareness for the social injustices going on in this world. I would definitely welcome him on as a teammate.”

To this point, we have not seen any Panthers players protest during the anthem, but Davis said he would support any of his teammates who decided to do so, though he has found his own way to foster improvement between citizens and police, one of the primary reasons Kaepernick began his protest.

“At the end of the day you are entitled to your own opinion as a player, as a person, and different things affect different people differently,” Davis said. “And I feel like if that’s the way that a guy wants to show the way he feels about what’s going on in the world, then hat’s off to im. I feel like at the same time too there are other ways of doing it; I’m getting ready to work with the local police agency here in Charlotte and we’re trying to come up with ways to bridge the gap between the community and the police officers and so that’s one of the things that I feel like I’m taking a stand for myself and for our community.”

On the other end of the spectrum from Davis is Pro Bowl Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy says Kaepernick isn’t talented enough to deal with whatever “distraction” he’d bring.

“It’s a lot more than just he’s not on the team because he doesn’t want to stand for the national anthem,” McCoy said on Thursday, via ESPN Bills reporter Mike Rodak. “That may have something to do with it, but I think also it has a lot to do with his play. I’m sure a lot of teams wouldn’t want him as their starting quarterback. That chaos that comes along with it, it’s a lot.

“As a team, trying to win and not have a distraction on the team, I just take that as a player – there’s certain players that could be on the team with big distractions, and there’s other players that it’s not good enough or not worth it. I think his situation is not good enough to have him on the team with all the attention that comes along with it. I’m sure if a guy like [Tom] Brady or a guy like whoever is your favorite player – Odell Beckham or a guy like that – you’ll deal with that attention and play him.”

McCoy has not been a choir boy during his time in the NFL, so maybe he includes himself in that Brady or Beckham category.

On Thursday, Matt Barrows, the San Francisco 49ers beat writer for the Sacramento Bee, wrote that while there was an increase in media at the 49ers’ facility in the first few weeks after Kaepernick’s protest went public (he sat for two weeks before NFL Network’s Steve Wyche took notice and asked him about it), after that the wave receded, and the media group was no more than usual.