The Washington Redskins “discussed” signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick but decided to go in a “different direction”, says head coach Jay Gruden.
The Redskins have lost their two senior quarterbacks to injury.
Kaepernick has not played since January 2017 after protesting against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the US national anthem.
He has filed a grievance against NFL team owners he claims conspired not to hire him because of his protests.
Kaepernick has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.
He was the first player to kneel during the US national anthem. Other players followed suit, leading to criticism from US President Donald Trump.
The Redskins lost starter Alex Smith when he broke his leg in November and back-up quarterback Colt McCoy broke his leg against Philadelphia Eagles on 3 December.
“He’s been discussed for sure,” Gruden said of Kaepernick.
“There’s not a lot of time to get a brand-new quarterback and system installed in a couple of days,” Gruden said. “He’s been talked about, but we’ll probably go in a different direction.”
Gruden insisted it was purely a sporting decision, adding: “Just football, strictly football. When you’re talking about a back-up quarterback this late in the game, you want someone with a similar skill-set to the quarterback you have.
“Not that Colin can’t do some of the things we’ve talked about, but we want someone with a little more familiarity.”