But during the team's flirtation with the Pro Bowl free agent, the Baltimore Sun reported that Mallett hurled seven interceptions over the course of two practices on Friday and Saturday (five on Friday alone). As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, Baltimore would likely only sign Kaepernick if they viewed him as an upgrade over Mallett and not just because they needed a camp arm while Joe Flacco recovers from a back issue.
This quickly became Mallett's burden to bear. In the meantime, he doesn't seem fazed by the competition coming from outside the facility.
The Ravens have openly admitted to speaking with Kaepernick over the last few weeks. They've canvassed the fanbase for opinions and even polled some of the franchise's more recognizable faces. If popularity is part of the equation, Kaepernick was revealed to still be on the NFLPA's top 50 merchandise list on Good Morning Football Tuesday. At No. 39, Kaepernick is the only player on the list to not currently be on an NFL roster.
Thanks to a report from NFL Network's Michael Silver, who cited someone familiar with Kaepernick's thinking, we now know the quarterback is eager to return under any circumstance. Money is also not an issue.
Does that mean it is simply becoming a Mallett issue at this point?
"I've got to get better," Mallett told the Sun. "This is what training camp is for. … It's a long training camp, a long preseason, and that's what this is for."
It's important to note in Mallett's defense that training camp practice interceptions are largely meaningless. As Mallett himself noted, after inheriting starter's snaps from Joe Flacco, he's also getting a new group of wide receivers to work with after barely getting used to the second-string wideouts during his time in offseason workouts. Should that even out, we may be hearing less about outside competition in Baltimore.