McNair's comment, reportedly made at an October NFL owners' meeting at which he was among those advocating for a new league mandate that players stand during the anthem, was said to have "stunned some in the room".
The Texans, meanwhile, issued a denial of a report which appeared in the Houston Chronicle which said the team had adopted an unofficial policy of not considering free agents who had taken part in the protests. With the NFL's free agency period opening next week, the Chronicle's report could potentially damage the team's reputation even among players who did not stage protests but who sympathize with those who did.
Looking at the NFL's free agent list for this offseason, there are a number of players who protested on it. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead and Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson are some of the major names who did so.
Well, as long as those players haven't protested during the national anthem in the past, that is.
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The Texans, who are poised for a bounce-back season in 2018 with Deshaun Watson under center, have a chance to make a big splash in the open market thanks to a favorable salary cap situation.
There is no official directive in the organization, but it is understood that the team isn't going to pursue anyone who participated in the protests, the paper reported.
President Trump thrust the issue of protesting players into the national headlines previous year, urging a national boycott of the "disgraceful" league until NFL officials and owners cracked down on athletes who disrespect the flag.