Blake Bortles’ return makes it even more likely that Colin Kaepernick won’t

Once upon a time, the signing by an NFL team of a so-so free-agent quarterback would spark a debate regarding the failure of the team to consider Colin Kaepernick. After three years of it, the question isn’t even asked.

It’s over. It’s done. If is wasn’t already clear before the Broncos signed Blake Bortles before giving Colin Kaepernick fair consideration, it is now.

Said Broncos coach Vic Fangio on Monday, when asked about Kaepernick: “His name hasn’t come up in the brief discussions I’ve had with [G.M.] John [Elway] at this point. I’m sure John and [V.P. of player personnel] Matt [Russell] will work hard to bring someone in here who they think will be the best fit.”

Blake Bortles, the man Chris Simms has said wasn’t put on earth to throw a football, was regarded as a better fit.

Why not bring in both for a workout and offer a job to the better of the two? Still lost in the NFL’s effort to explain away Kaepernick’s shunning by claiming that the league tried to set up a workout last year for Kaepernick is the fact that every team has had the ability to bring Kaepernick in for a workout since he became a free agent in March 2017, and that none has done so. (The Seahawks invited him only for a visit.)

So it’s over. It’s done. The NFL successfully has run out the clock. The fact that Blake Bortles has a job with an NFL team and that Kaepernick didn’t even get a phone call from the Broncos underscores that reality.

And as to those who continue to insist that Kaepernick wants too much money or insists on a starting job or doesn’t really want to play, why do the NFL’s 32 franchises continue to refuse to call his bluff? If any of these narratives are true, the best way to find out is to offer him a workout, a minimum-salary contract, whatever, and see what he says.