Former second-string 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has reached a settlement deal with a group of NFL owners accused of conspiring together — and with President Donald Trump — to lock Kaepernick out of the league over his pre-game anti-racism protests.
CBS News reports that both Kaepernick and the NFL’s attorneys announced late Friday that they’d reached a deal, estimated to be in the high tens of millions.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the two parties said in a joint statement released Friday evening. “As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”
All parties are prevented from revealing details of the settlement, by the settlement’s terms, but various news reports put the settlement between $60 million and $80 million split between the two players. Those reports are, of course, unconfirmed.
Kaepernick and his 49ers teammate, Eric Reid, filed a joint grievance against NFL owners under the terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement back in October of 2017, alleging that they were “locked out” of open positions with NFL teams over their kneeling protests, held during the national anthem.
Kaepernick also claimed that the NFL owners had conspired together to deny him a plum league position until he agreed to stop protesting, and that league owners were responding directly to President Donald Trump’s universal condemnation of NFL players’ anti-racism demonstrations by ending Kaepernick’s official relationship with the NFL.
Kaepernick was unable to get another quarterback job after turning down a one-year extension on his contract from the 49ers; Reid, the first player to join Kaepernick’s protests, was unemployed during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, but signed with the Carolina Panthers midway through the 2017-2018 NFL season. Reid signed a three-year deal with the Panthers, CBS reports, earlier this week, for an estimated $22 million.
Kaepernick’s attorney, celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, told ESPN that he predicts Kaepernick will now be welcomed into the league with open arms, and that Kaepernick believes he will end up on either the Carolina Panthers, like his former teammate Eric Reid, or that he could replace a retiring Tom Brady on the Patriots.
“I think you’re going to see within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos told the sports network. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if Bob Kraft makes a move.”
The Patriots are probably a longshot. The team has two backup quarterbacks already, both of whom trained under Brady, and have been waiting for their moment in the spotlight for years.
The Redskins reportedly considered adding Kaepernick to the roster late last season, after trying out two other formerly retired quarterbacks, but eventually passed on the opportunity. The Alliance of American Football, which is in its premiere season and looking for star power, offered Kaepernick a slot, according to NBC News, but Kaepernick turned the offer down after the AAF refused to meet his demand for a $20 million contract.