PHILADELPHIA — Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called teams “cowards” for their reluctance to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick over concerns about public blowback.

According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome support the signing of Kaepernick, but they have met resistance from owner Steve Bisciotti. The Ravens have said they’ve spoken with Kaepernick, and have discussed the possibility of adding him with current and former players, as well as with fans and sponsors.

“This is just some other teams being, quite honestly, cowards, to say that they’re afraid of backlash to sign someone to make their team better, when fans’ input has never been in the equation when it comes to signing people in the past,” Jenkins told delawareonline.com.

“It’s certain owners’ way of making an example out of [Kaepernick] to discourage anybody else from doing what he did.”

Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the playing of the national anthem before games last season to protest social injustice. He drew support from players around the league, including Jenkins, who raised a fist above his head during “The Star-Spangled Banner” for all but one game last season. Kaepernick has also drawn a great deal of criticism for his actions.

He opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March and has yet to sign with another team.

“Four months ago, there was a debate as to whether [Kaepernick] is talented enough or whatever,” Jenkins said. “I think at this point in time, when you look at the quarterbacks who have jobs around the league, and the amount of owners and GMs who have only spoken of what fans would think about his stance. I think it’s safe to throw out that talent argument, and basically focus on the fact that he doesn’t have a job solely because he didn’t stand for the anthem last year, even though he already expressed that he planned on standing this year.

“That message, to me, is loud and clear from owners as to where their priorities stand and how they go about picking and choosing who they want on their teams. It’s definitely unfortunate, but it’s shining a light on just how the NFL operates and what we deem is acceptable. It really has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, but what affects dollars. That’s business as usual, but I think it’s an unfortunate precedent to set.”

Other NFL players echo Jenkins. Seahawks DE Michael Bennett was asked on Thursday what it would take for an organization to give Kaepernick an opportunity.

“It’s going to take the organization. I think the players have spoken up enough. I think the media has spoken up. It just takes the ownership for someone to say we want this guy in our locker room,” said Bennett. “I think a lot of teams, like we said before, were really affected by what he did and what he did this year. It wasn’t criminal. There’s been guys who have criminal records, guys who have been accused of murder, guys who have been accused of rape and domestic violence who are still in the NFL.

“I mean, some quarterbacks, as we all know, shouldn’t be playing, but they are, and this guy is sitting on the side. We all know why. It’s just hard to fathom that he’s not having a job this year.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated on Thursday that teams aren’t blackballing Kaepernick for what he did last year.

“No, teams make decisions (based) on what’s in the best interest of their team … and they make those decisions individually,” Goodell said following an appearance at a forum at the Denver Broncos‘ indoor practice facility.

Information from ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia and the Associated Press was used in reporting.