Pete Carroll on Colin Kaepernick: Not doing anything yet, but 'he's a starter in this league'

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RENTON, Wash. -- Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Colin Kaepernick should be a starter in the NFL, but he indicated that Seattle has no current plans to sign the quarterback.

"Colin's been a fantastic football player, and he's going to continue to be," Carroll said. "At this time, we didn't do anything with it, but we know where he is and who he is and we had a chance to understand him much more so. He's a starter in this league. And we have a starter. But he's a starter in this league, and I can't imagine that someone won't give him a chance to play."

The Seahawks had Kaepernick in for a visit last week, but the quarterback left without a contract. The team is looking for a backup option behind Russell Wilson.

Carroll was asked why he thinks Kaepernick has not been signed to start elsewhere.

"That's not my issue," Carroll said.

Asked if Kaepernick's social activism has been a factor, Carroll said, "I don't know that. Let's wait and see. There's some other guys still out too."

Wilson, meanwhile, said he would have no issues with the team signing Kaepernick.

"I haven't had the chance to be around Colin too much, but the times I have, he's been great," Wilson said. "He's obviously, first of all, a really, really good football player. He's made a lot of good plays in a lot of big games and done a lot of good things. So I have tons of respect for him in that way.

"And then in terms of everything else he stood for too, I think that he was trying to stand for the right things. He was trying to stand for equality. And so I respect that too."

Kaepernick, 29, started 58 regular-season games for the San Francisco 49ers from 2012 to 2016. He made headlines last season for kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest social inequality.

Carroll did not close the door on the idea of the Seahawks considering Kaepernick down the road.

"The doors are always open to opportunities," Carroll said. "We're just going to try to do the best we can for our guys whenever the opportunity presents itself, and we'll see. But as of right now, we know what we're doing.

"He's a great kid. He communicates well. He's got a big world that he's living in. He's an NFL quarterback. He has other issues that he's concerned about. He's capable of being a championship guy. He's demonstrated that over the years. He's been up and down in his career some, but he's shown enough upside that he can do that. I thought he presented himself really well."