Colin Kaepernick says he has gotten death threats, discusses Terence Crutcher

Colin Kaepernick thought about all the possible backlash that would come along with his national-anthem protest including, sadly, death threats.

Kaepernick said he has gotten some death threats from a “couple different avenues” since he started sitting, and then kneeling, for the national anthem. Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

He said he hadn’t alerted team officials to the threats, the San Francisco Chronicle and CSN Bay Area reported.

“No, to me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point,” said Kaepernick, who spent 15 minutes at his locker Tuesday with reporters. “And it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. And that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.”

OVERREACTION: Kirk Cousins and the Redskins (0-2) were a fluke in 2015. Cousins threw a critical end-zone interception that led to Dallas scoring the winning TD.

REALISTIC REACTION: Washington was 4-6 last season before Cousins led them to six straight wins and a division title. Way too early to count them out in the NFC East.

OVERREACTION: Steve Spagnuolo’s defense will lead the Giants (2-0) to the playoffs. After allowing Drew Brees to throw for 511 yards and an NFL-tying seven touchdowns last year, New York limited the Saints to 288 yards in a 16-13 win.

REALISTIC REACTION: The Giants have improved on D, but this team’s success falls on Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo’s high-powered offense.

But that’s an issue for down the line. For this season there isn’t likely to be a quarterback controversy. This is still Jones’ team, and Romo is still his quarterback.

“They either don’t care about what’s going on, or they don’t understand it,” Kaepernick told the Chronicle. “I find it very hard that people don’t understand what’s going on.”

Tough rehab had J.J. Watt worried about playing football again

HOUSTON — Texans defensive end J.J. Watt said there was a point during the offseason when he didn’t know whether he’d ever play football again.

After the Texans’ 30-0 loss in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Kansas City Chiefs, Watt had major surgery in Philadelphia in January. Watt said he had five muscles repaired and both of his lower abs had to be reattached. He also had to have his abductors (one right and two left) reattached.

As he lay for 10 straight days in a Philadelphia hotel room, Watt said he was overwhelmed with the rehab process and his inability to even walk or get out of bed.

And even though he underwent back surgery just before the start of training camp, Watt said there was no doubt in his mind that he would be ready to play in the regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears.

“No, there was never a doubt,” Watt said. “Those guys were awesome in helping me and also awesome in being willing to have an aggressive approach. After a surgery, the rehab can go one of many ways, and these guys were willing to accept my aggressive style, and we did it in a smart fashion, but we did it in a way that we knew that this really wasn’t going to be an issue.”

Watt has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career, playing in 85 consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Watt has not missed a game in his five-year NFL career, playing in 85 consecutive games, including playoffs. Watt has played in 89.9 percent of the Texans’ defensive snaps since he was drafted in 2011, which is the highest percentage among all defensive linemen, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Since 2012, Watt has played in 92.8 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

And so, though Watt said the coaching staff might be cautious and put some limitations on what he can do or how long he can play, he plans to fight to play as much as he has in the past.

“I’m sure that they are going to try to put some limitations on me and we are going to have that conversation here as the week goes on,” Watt said. “The way that I felt in the last two practices, I don’t feel it’s necessary. My body feels great. My conditioning level feels great.”

Watt said this has been a tough offseason after going through two surgeries and two rehabs, but it has changed his perspective to not take his health for granted.

“It definitely gives you a new outlook, kind of a fresh approach,” Watt said. “You see things from a different light when you’re going through stuff like that and you go through the ups and downs.

“There have been some days where it has sucked, where it absolutely sucked, but I really enjoyed the adversity that we faced and I enjoyed having to overcome those things and challenges that I really haven’t had before. I hope to never have an offseason like this again. But I definitely learned and grew from it.”

“When I was in Philadelphia after the first surgery, there were some days there where I really questioned whether or not I’d ever be able to play again,” Watt said. “Just some of the stuff we were dealing with from a rehab standpoint. And just the way that the recovery was going early on.”

Jim Harbaugh: ‘I don’t respect’ action of Colin Kaepernick’s protest

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t mince words when asked Monday about the recent protest made by his former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

“I acknowledge his right to do that. I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” said Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick with the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh looked to clarify his comments in a tweet later Monday.

Kaepernick remained seated while the national anthem played prior to the 49ers’ preseason game Friday against the Green Bay Packers. After the game, he told reporters he sat because he didn’t want to show pride in a country that oppresses people of color.

“To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick told reporters. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

“We talk about the national anthem each and every year prior to our first preseason game and how we conduct ourselves during the national anthem,” McCarthy said. “But I think when you do get to a situation where there are social issues, I think everybody – players and coaches alike – feel there is a responsibility to stand up for that. With that, that’s where the communication between you and your football team takes place, and you respect each and every man for where they came from and who they are.

“With that, it’s more about not what they stand up for but really when. And I think those are the types of things that you work through.”

After Saturday’s game he let a little of that show. Asked if he thought he would be named starter, Siemian said: “I feel confident. Ultimately it’s up to [Kubiak], it’s a better question for him.’’

Asked if he believed he had done enough to be the starter, Siemian said: “I do, but again that’s not my call. I’ll just try to be the best teammate I can be.’’

Turns out the kid was right.

On what was a day off for many of his teammates, Berry bumped into Alex Smith and some of the other quarterbacks, and they greeted each other warmly. He sat in the office of the head coach and talked with Andy Reid about what they would try to accomplish this season.

It was time for Berry, the Chiefs’ franchise player, to get back to work after skipping all of the offseason practice sessions and training camp in protest. So he did. Berry signed the Chiefs’ one-year contract worth about $10.8 million and put aside thoughts of anything but football.

“Everybody in this building knows me,’’ Berry said Monday, shortly before practicing for the first time. “I’m about business. I’m going to handle business like a professional. Aside from that, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got on every snap. Whatever happened in the offseason, that’s the offseason.

“That’s in my DNA. I can’t change that.’’

Berry will be available to help the Chiefs through that process from this point forward. That was always part of his plan. Football and the Chiefs mean too much to Berry for him to miss games and practices when they really count.

Tom Brady’s $50 snack packages sell out in just one day

Tom Brady’s $50 snack packages sell out in just one day

METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton said he doesn’t follow fantasy football, but that didn’t stop him from giving the ultimate fantasy endorsement to rookie New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Carroll lauded friend and Washington-bred rapper Ben Haggerty, aka Macklemore, for showcasing his Monarchs on his Snapchat account and, more importantly, for picking them over Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s polarizing “Chef Curry” shoes.

Carroll expressed his affection for Curry’s sneakers — which, like the Air Monarchs, are dubbed as “dad shoes” on social media — a few months ago, yet he remains loyal to the old-school, all-white lowtops he calls “Air Paternos.”

The stadium has hosted three events already, as a Chelsea-AC Milan friendly and concerts from Luke Bryan and Metallica have functioned as soft openings of sorts before the Vikings move in. As such, we’ve put together this user’s guide for the stadium, based on tours we’ve taken of the facility, some suggestions from the Vikings and the reviews all of you submitted this week on Twitter and Facebook.

Two general themes emerged from what many of you said about the stadium: Aesthetically, it’s as impressive as the Vikings and architect HKS hoped it would be, with natural light streaming through the clear roof, ideal sight lines and striking views of downtown Minneapolis through the glass doors on the west side of the stadium. And logistically, it’s a work in progress.

Donald Brown was released by the Patriots on Tuesday, a source told ESPN. Brown signed a one-year, $965,000 contract with the Patriots

Brown entered the NFL as a first-round draft choice of the Indianapolis Colts, playing five years with them before spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the San Diego Chargers.

By releasing him, the Patriots thin their ranks at a position that was already short on depth. Blount is the top power option, while third-year man James White projects to step in for Lewis as the top “passing back” until his return. The team also has Brandon Bolden (5th year), Tyler Gaffney (3rd year), Joey Iosefa (2nd year) and undrafted rookie D.J. Foster at running back.

In addition to releasing Brown, the Patriots also informed defensive tackle Frank Kearse and cornerback E.J. Biggers of their releases. Both were long shots to make the roster.

Snapchat helps Tony McDaniel land spot with Seattle Seahawks

Eventually, in part because of a calf injury to nose tackle Sealver Siliga, the Seahawks agreed. McDaniel worked out for the team Monday and signed a contract, Canter said.

McDaniel, 31, started 29 games for the Seahawks in 2013 and 2014. The team released him last August, and McDaniel signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will have to compete for a roster spot in the weeks ahead.

Serena Williams will enter the US Open with even more question marks after pulling out of the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

Williams, the two-time defending champion in Cincinnati, cited a right shoulder injury, the same setback that forced her to withdraw from the Rogers Cup in Montreal last month.

For more than three years, Serena Williams has been the No. 1 player in the land, but that could come to an end — and at the worst possible time.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Everyone in American basketball circles understands that there will never, ever be another Dream Team.

That’s easy to accept.

Far less pleasant for the latest assemblage of Team USA hoopsters to stomach is the growing realization that even their dream scenario here at the Summer Olympics, which was presumed to be pretty attainable, continues to dribble out of reach.

Winning in style is no longer the target.

Winning, period, is the sole aim now.

USA Basketball’s Rio roster is unquestionably stronger than the one stocked with fill-ins that dominated the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, but opposition continuity is proving to be a stubborn and dangerous equalizer a mere two years later down here in South America. Although a clutch of perennial powers have all creakily descended from their respective peaks — namely Spain, Argentina and the hosts Brazil — no longer is Team USA expected to roll like so many know-it-alls worldwide presumed when we got here.

Brock Osweiler responds to John Elway comments on QB’s benching

Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Texans in March, choosing that over a smaller offer from the Broncos. Last season, Osweiler went 5-2 in seven starts for the Broncos, throwing for 1,967 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.

“I can understand that he didn’t want to sit down and have Peyton come back in that San Diego game, but it wasn’t the fact that Brock was playing bad,” Elway told the Denver Post. “We needed a change of something.

“So I was a little surprised just how he seemed to be a little bent out of shape about that. But he had an opportunity to make a tremendous amount of money in Houston, and for us, it just didn’t fit.”

The Texans and Broncos play on Oct. 24 in Denver on Monday Night Football.

Last offseason, the Minnesota Vikings signed Kevin McDermott to a two-year, $1.26 million contract. It probably did not register on your radar. Most contracts for long-snappers don’t.

On Monday afternoon, the Vikings signed McDermott to a new contract. This one pays him $4 million over four years, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Long snapper Kevin McDermott and #Vikings have agreed to a 4-year, $4 million extension, source said. Locking him up until 2020
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 8, 2016

Buffalo Bills

Even as wide receiver Sammy Watkins and defensive linemen Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams return to practice, the injury bug continued to strike. Left tackle Cordy Glenn was in a walking boot Monday, which will likely keep him out for the foreseeable future, while guard Richie Incognito left Monday’s practice with rib soreness. The Bills just need to get through Tuesday’s practice healthy as they continue their week of preparation for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Colts. — Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins released their first depth chart of training camp, and rookie first-round pick Laremy Tunsil is officially the second-string left guard. Tunsil has plenty of work ahead in a short span to earn a starting job before the regular season, and a strong performance in practice this week and in Friday’s preseason opener against the Giants will go a long way. — James Walker

Would Brett Favre consider being Cowboys’ backup?

Appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football from Canton, Favre was (jokingly) asked if he might consider a return as Romo’s backup.

“You know what? Being around, walking in his Hall and stuff, it kind of gives you an itch,” Favre said. “The only problem is I can’t get hit. Can they promise I won’t get hit?”

Good Morning Football’s Nate Burleson noted that the Cowboys currently have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

“Well, I mean, that’s good. But I need a little more … security,” Favre said, laughing.

Favre was a noted Cowboys fan growing up. Given that competitive juices don’t die, so much get redirected with age, it’s easy to think Favre falls asleep tonight dreaming of what it would be like to pull on that star helmet at age 46.

No, it’s not happening, but it sure is fun to think about.

Arizona Cardinals

1-10 percent: Calais Campbell is supremely underrated, but he doesn’t accrue any stats and has just two Pro Bowl appearances as he turns 30. … The newly re-signed Tyrann Mathieu was impressive as a rookie in 2013 and one of the five best defensive backs in football last season, but he has torn his ACL twice across his first three professional seasons. … Carson Palmer would need to string together four or five more seasons at his 2015 level to make it in, as it had been nine seasons since the long-time Bengals starter had even made a Pro Bowl. The closest comparison to Palmer in terms of late-30s breakouts would be somebody like Rich Gannon, and Gannon hasn’t engendered serious Hall consideration while being selected as a first-team All-Pro twice. Palmer, 36, is still waiting for his first such nod.

Chandler Jones has one Pro Bowl appearance and 36 sacks through four seasons, the latter of which is tied for 36th all time through four years; not bad, but the vast majority of players ahead of Jones on the list failed to make it to the Hall of Fame. For every Charles Haley (40.5 sacks), there are two LaMarr Woodleys and Jim Jeffcoats. The fact that Bill Belichick traded Jones doesn’t bode well, either. How often does Belichick trade away a defensive stalwart only to regret it in the long term? 20 percent

Patrick Peterson is off to about as good of a start to a career as you can imagine. During his first five seasons, the former LSU star has made five Pro Bowls and been named a first-team All-Pro three times (once for his return work). Only 12 HOF-eligible players since the merger have made it to the Pro Bowl in each of their first five seasons, and eight were enshrined. Patrick Willis will probably make it nine. Peterson’s still just 26 years old, so he might have this locked up before turning 30. 70 percent
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald needs just two touchdown catches to reach 100 for his career. Jason Miller/Getty Images
Larry Fitzgerald was probably a lock for the Hall of Fame already, but his resurgent 2015 campaign just about sealed things up. Fitz has only been a first-team All-Pro once, but he now has nine Pro Bowl appearances in 12 years. Only nine other wideouts since the merger have made it to as many as seven Pro Bowls. Five are in the Hall of Fame, one (Marvin Harrison) is going in this weekend and another (Andre Johnson) will be in once he’s eligible. Also included in that list is Steve Tasker, who earned his Pro Bowl nods for special-teams work. The remaining player who hasn’t made it to Canton is Torry Holt, and Fitzgerald has already comfortably topped Holt’s numbers with another couple of years to go. 95 percent

The Arizona Cardinals are going to squeeze every drop out of quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald, who will turn 33 on Aug. 31, and Palmer, who will be 37 on Dec. 27, were each given one-year extensions by the Cardinals. Palmer is now signed through 2018, when he’ll turn 39, and Fitzgerald is signed through 2017.

Palmer’s extension is worth $24.35 million, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said, and his 2016 and 2017 salaries are now fully guaranteed.

Bears set up alarms on Leonard Floyd’s phone to remind him to eat anything

If you’ve been following Gronk’s career over the past couple years, then you know that he basically doesn’t wear a shirt during the offseason, so it only made sense thatGQ put him on the cover without a shirt. And just in case a shirtless Gronk isn’t enough, the magazine also put bikini-clad model Hailey Clauson on the cover.

Shirtless Rob Gronkowski lands on ‘GQ’ cover with bikini-clad model

This is the second time in three months that Clauson has graced a national magazine cover. The model was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, where she was only wearing half a bikini. She must’ve gotten her swimsuit half-off — OK, I’ll show myself out.

Gronk and Clauson did a photoshoot together for GQ and if you’re interested in seeing the two of them parade around in bathing suits, then definitely head over toGQ by clicking here.

DeAndre Hopkins was pretty much the only high-level offensive weapon the Houston Texans had last season. Hopkins finished the year with 111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns, outpacing the next closest player on the team by 64 catches, 863 yards, and seven touchdown grabs.

He was the intended receiver on as astonishing 192 passes — only Julio Jones (197) and Antonio Brown (192) were targeted more often. The next closest player on the team was Nate Washington with 94 targets. Again, the only two teams with a greater target differential between the No.1 and No. 2 pass-catchers were the Falcons (Jones and Devonta Freeman) and Steelers (Brown and Martavis Bryant).

Considering how unthreatening the other targets on the Texans were, it’s pretty incredible that Hopkins was still able to have such a dominant season. When everyone knows where the ball is going, it should be easier to stop it from happening. Of course, most teams couldn’t stop it anyway.

In 2016, there should at least be a little more fear instilled by players elsewhere on the field. The Texans signed running back Lamar Miller in free agency up upgrade the ground game, then spent early draft picks on wide receivers Will Fuller (Notre Dame) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State). Fuller is a speed demon that should help stretch the field vertically, while Miller is one of the most athletic and versatile players in the class.

Hopkins, for one, is happy the front office brought those guys to his team.

Black, 58, was of course the longtime manager of the Padres, and his name was recently floated by Bob Nightengale as a candidate in Atlanta. With San Diego, Black compiled a 649-713 record. Black was also a successful big-league starting pitcher for 15 years and later a pitching coach, and that’s bound to have appeal to the Braves, who have a lot of young pitching in the pipeline.

Pendleton, who won an MVP for the Braves as a player, has been a member of the Braves’ coaching staff for 15 years. From 2002-10, he served as hitting coach, and since then he’s been first base coach. Now 55, Pendleton has before been named as a candidate to manage Atlanta, and he provides a direct link to the Bobby Cox glory years. As well, Pendleton, as an African-American, would be a minority hire, which MLB has long encouraged.

Dave Martinez

The 51-year-old Martinez, Joe Maddon’s longtime bench coach in Tampa and now with the Cubs, remains a hot managerial candidate who’s been linked with any number of vacancies. Needless to say, with Maddon’s Cubs looking like a juggernaut this far in 2016, Martinez’s appeal is only growing. But would Martinez prefer to hold out for a team that’s more established on the success cycle than the Braves are right now? For what it’s worth, Martinez spent his final season as a player with the Braves in 2001.

Chris Clemons informs Seahawks he plans to retire

Originally undrafted out of Georgia back in 2003, Clemons drifted around the league as a situational player until finding a home as the “elephant” pass rusher coming off the edge in Pete Carroll’s defense. He proceeded to reel off three consecutive seasons of double digit sacks, bringing the heat for a historically dominant pass defense.

With promising young defensive ends Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh poised for increased playing time behind Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, the veteran wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot coming out of training camp.

Clemons will finish a lengthy career with 69 career sacks over 162 NFL games.

Mike Wallace passes conditioning test, returns to field

The Mike Wallace nightmare is over.

The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver is back on the field Friday after passing his conditioning test, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Video evidence of Wallace hitting the practice field:

Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 29, 2016
The truth of the matter is that Wallace failing his conditioning test a couple of days ago was never a big deal. If his name was Renaldo James instead of Mike Wallace, no one would have blinked an eye. Because Wallace is a lightning rod for criticism, any small opening for blasting will be jammed with 10,000 sticks of hot-take dynamite.

Despite agreeing to terms on a contract earlier this week, Long declined to sign an injury waiver with the Ravens and thus will remain a free agent, the offensive tackle told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a text Friday.

Long played just 11 snaps over four games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 after suffering ACL tears to his right knee in back-to-back seasons.

Long passed an exit physical with the Falcons in January and another conducted by Dr. James Andrews this week, per Schefter.

Last month, the 31-year-old tackle insisted he was “finally healthy.”

“This is the healthiest and best I’ve felt in probably about five, six years,” Long said. “My knee’s back. I’ve just been working out, feeling good and ready for the opportunity when it comes along.”

By not agreeing to sign a waiver, that opportunity will not be in Baltimore.

Colin Kaepernick has clearance for camp

New coach Chip Kelly has assured that there will be a fair competition between Gabbert and Kaepernick for the 49ers’ starting job.

“All I’ve heard is that Chip has told me it’s going to be a competition … and to come in and be ready to compete,” Kaepernick said in June. “That’s my mindset, and I’m excited to do that.”

One rival defensive coordinator has predicted that Kaepernick will be a “nightmare” in Kelly’s offense, which is ideally suited to the athletic quarterback’s skill set.

To be fair, though, Kelly has astutely pointed out that Gabbert’s underappreciated athleticism also “jumped out” in offseason practices.

It might take until the third preseason game before a heavy favorite emerges as the Week 1 starter.

New York’s best fit: WR Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma, No. 40 overall

Statistics can be bent in any which way to prove a point but consider this — Odell Beckham, Jr.’s 96 catches a season ago nearly doubled the 59 grabbed by running back Shane Vereen, who finished second on the club in receptions. The disparity is just as bad in receiving yards and touchdowns, where OBJ recorded 1,450 and 13 scores, with Rueben Randle finishing with a respectable (but hardly frightening) 797 yards and eight touchdowns.

The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Randle has the size and build-up speed to give Eli Manning a quality threat on the perimeter to complement Beckham but the club needed to find another interior threat with Victor Cruz’s salsa losing its rhythm the past two seasons.

Josh Gordon won’t be ready for training camp.

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday placed their back-from-suspension wideout on the active/non-football injury list after Gordon hurt his quadriceps while working out on his own this summer, per the team’s official website. Gordon is expected to miss “at least a couple of weeks,” according to the Browns.

With this year’s NFL Draft in the past, teams have the opportunity to add veteran help to address areas of need. But the ability to sign quality veterans who remain on the market is in part dictated by the salary cap space each team possesses.

There are fewer teams with challenging salary cap situations because the annual growth in the cap has been around eight percent over the last couple of years and unused cap room can be carried over from one year to the next. Despite this, those teams that have pushed the envelope may not be immune from decisions somewhat dictated by the cap.