The Ravens' signing of quarterback David Olson Friday morning doesn't affect the possibility of adding Colin Kaepernick.
The two are being linked in some media reports, but Head Coach John Harbaugh made it clear Friday that the Ravens could still add Kaepernick.
"Those are two different categories of players," Harbaugh said. "I don't think one precludes the other because they're different categories of players completely."
With Joe Flacco sitting out with a sore back, the Ravens needed a third arm just to run a practice properly. Offensive Assistant Matt Weiss was throwing passes during Thursday's first full-team training camp session.
That is why the Ravens signed Olson, who came recommended from Harbaugh's brother, Jim. If the Ravens were to sign Kaepernick, it would not be for him to be a third quarterback just filling in while Flacco is hurt.
The Ravens would be more likely to sign Kaepernick if Flacco's back injury lingers longer than the expected week and begins to become a problem.
"It has to do with our need," Harbaugh said. "Joe is day-to-day. Do we really need to make that move or not? That's the decision that really has to be made."
Harbaugh reiterated that there are a lot of layers to signing Kaepernick simply from a "football standpoint." As he said Thursday, there must be a determination on Kaepernick's desire to play, his fitness level and other factors.
Harbaugh is already comfortable with the kind of player he is – a former Super Bowl quarterback who threw 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions in 11 starts last year – if the other factors check out.
Harbaugh also has a gauge on Kaepernick's mental and physical state since the two have spoken during the offseason. Kaepernick told Harbaugh that he's in great shape and has been throwing, and Harbaugh is taking his word for it.
"You have to check all those boxes off before you can pull the trigger and do something," Harbaugh said. "We're in the process of doing that. There's a reason Colin hasn't signed yet, all those things, all the considerations and factors. There's also a football fit kind of a thing too."
There's also the question of what it would mean for the Ravens' backup quarterback situation. Would Kaepernick become the No. 2?
"You know, Ryan Mallett is here too, and we have Joe Flacco," Harbaugh said. "We like Ryan Mallett as a quarterback and he fits into the offense. You just have to figure all that stuff out and see what's best for your team. I guess the question was, when you start with 'How good of a football player is this?' Absolutely, [Kaepernick's] a good enough football player to be here. That's where you start, for sure."
When it comes to possibly signing Kaepernick, there is a lot of media and fan debate. Kaepernick's public protest in kneeling during the national anthem last season – which he has said he would not do this season – made him a lightning rod.
"If there's other layers to it, then I think that's taken into consideration at the appropriate level," Harbaugh said.
Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have always been a team that has welcomed players with a wide range of opinions, and they have been open to players voicing their feelings so long as it doesn't hurt the team.
Flacco said Friday that he wouldn't care if the team added Kaepernick because he's comfortable with his place as the team's starter. Flacco hasn't spoken with Kaepernick.
"I would like to see Collin get back in [the NFL] and at some point, maybe get another shot [to start]," Flacco said. "I wouldn't like that to be here. I do not want him to get another shot here, but yes, he can come here and have some fun. I think it would be a good spot for him."