Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he now regrets not signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick on two separate occasions.
The Seahawks considered signing Kaepernick in 2017 when they had him in for a visit, and again before the 2018 season.
"I regret that it didn't happen, in some fashion," Carroll said on an online Zoom call on Thursday.
"I wish we would have contributed to it because the guy deserved to play.
"I thought, at the time, in our situation, as a backup, I just didn't feel right, at that time. So, I had to make that football decision. It was about our team. We had our starting quarterback, all of that. And it wasn't going to be the open, competitive situation that I like to think our spots are, because Russ [Wilson] is such a dominant figure."
Carroll said Kaepernick contacted him during the 2017 offseason after the San Francisco 49ers and the quarterback mutually parted ways amid the national controversy over his kneeling during anthems the previous season.
"He had called out of the blue, to ask me advice about where he would go next," Carroll said. "I was flattered that he would even think to call me, because we had never talked before other than just greetings.
"We had great meetings, we spent the day together. He spent time with our people throughout the building, and almost a full day. And he was awesome. The fact that it didn't work out for us, I figured he'd go somewhere else and start for sure. And it just didn't happen."
Seattle considered Kaepernick again the following year when they were looking for an experienced quarterback to back up Wilson.
"It just didn't come together," Carroll said.
Carroll said not signing Kaepernick had nothing to do with his anthem protests.
"There was stuff in the media that we were concerned about him taking a knee, or whatever. That never even came up in our conversations. That was never even an issue for us," he said.