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Vernon Davis: Colin Kaepernick Was 'Great Teammate, Great Leader'

August 10, 2017
By Andy Kostka

Former Maryland tight end Vernon Davis, who spent five years playing alongside quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the San Francisco 49ers, said Kaepernick was a "great teammate."

"My tenure with Kaepernick was nothing but amazing," Davis said on Glenn Clark Radio Aug. 9. "He was a leader while I was playing with him. He was a great guy off the field, and he worked extremely hard. He's probably the hardest-working man I've ever seen in my life. He does it day-in and day-out, and he's always been a standup guy. And I'm sure he's the same way."

With Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco sidelined in training camp with a back injury and backup Ryan Mallett yet to impress in camp, Kaepernick, a free agent, was seen as a potential solution for the team. However, there has been no movement regarding the Ravens signing Kaepernick, who drew much criticism for kneeling during the national anthem last season.

After Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down with a season-ending injury, the Dolphins signed Jay Cutler Aug. 7, making Kaepernick's chances of playing in the NFL this season appear bleak.

Despite reports in 2015 that Davis and 49ers offensive offensive lineman Joe Staley had a verbal altercation with Kaepernick -- an incident Davis denied happened -- Davis said Kaepernick had complete respect of the locker room. He described the 29-year-old quarterback as benevolent, "smiling all the time."

Kaepernick started 11 games for the 49ers last season and threw for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished the season with a  55.2 quarterback rating, which was 23rd-best in the league and placed Kaepernick ahead of quarterbacks such as the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton and the New York Giants' Eli Manning.

Davis, now with the Washington Redskins, knows about facing adversity during his career. After being traded in 2015 from the 49ers, the team that drafted him in 2006, to the Denver Broncos, he had trouble picking up a new playbook. For the first time in his career, he was a backup. 

"Everyone has things that they have during their life, things that are going on," Davis said. "I can't really get into what's going on with [Kaepernick's] situation, but all I can tell you is that he was a great teammate, great leader, hardest working man I've ever seen, and my experience with him was truly amazing."

For more from Davis, listen to the full interview here: