NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Lawyers representing unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid released the following statement on Friday afternoon concerning their clients' collusion lawsuit against the NFL:

The NFLPA released their own statement shortly thereafter:

The case was set to be heard before an arbitrator next month. Kaepernick and Reid had no obvious reason to withdraw their complaint, so the logical conclusion is that the two sides reached a financial settlement.

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33 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2019, 11:43am

1 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

I wonder what the NFL gets out of this. It's not like they wouldn't want the publicity, they're beyond all-in against Kaepernick here, so much so they probably relished the potential publicity that would go over well for an (apparently) large part of their fan base, if they expected to win. They can also easily outspend the players in legal fees without feeling anything.

Did Kaep/Reid actually have evidence to support their case that the league didn't want to become public? What else could explain this? (IANAL, and I don't know any that practice this area of law)

I was already convinced that most if not all NFL teams have colluded and are colluding against Kaep, Reid, and others, and this settlement seems to be one more piece of evidence on the pile.

8 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

I think the publicity is actually terrible for them. Ratings tumbled last year when this stuff was at its peak, then rebounded this season as it faded away. The NFL wants all this to become a memory as quickly as possible. Politics makes entertainment, such as sports, a lot less enjoyable. Moving on from this damaging episode is very much in the NFL's interest.

2 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Am I missing something?

Kaep says "no team will sign him because he knelt".

Then Reid says the same.

The Reid gets signed.

It seems pretty hard to claim you're being colluded against once a team picks you up.

3 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Just because Reid eventually got signed doesn't mean he didn't have a claim for damages. If the collusion depressed the market for his services, forcing him to miss part of the season and then accept a contract for a smaller amount than he would have otherwise received, he would be entitled to recover for the difference between the greater amount he would have received and the lesser amount he actually received due to the collusion (assuming he could prove all of that).

10 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

A QB who'd been out since the 2016 season ended is a different situation, both in time out and in publicity level, from a DB who was unemployed just part of the 2018 season.

Additionally, without getting into the other particulars, Reid was at the time better relative to others at his position...

20 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Yep. Due to how the Reid situation turned out, it'd be very difficult for the NFL to disprove collusion. During the offseason after 2017, he was somehow deemed unemployable. Yet after a few inevitably injuries occur during the 2018 season, Carolina signs him and he performs in line with his historical standards despite being subject to frequent drug tests, ultimately signing a long-term contract with the team after the 2018 season. With those set of facts, it would have been idiotic for the NFL to go to the court.

12 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Its fun to laugh at Jerry Jones and the like, but I still cannot comprehend any of the owners (or their lackeys) being stupid or reckless enough to have done something that could meet the standards required for collusion to be proven in the courtroom (not that I know what that standard is, but I assume difficult).

My interpretation is that this is just the NFL getting Kaepernick to go away, once and for all, for what is presumably the proverbial drop in the ocean for them in terms of money.

14 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Cause billionaires is smarts?

There was never one conversation that went something like

"Bob, your father and my grandfather literally built this league. We've dedicated our entire lives to our teams, since we were little boys crawling around the carpet under our dad's desks. I'll be damned if that SOB plays another down, and I know you will too..."

Cause that's that, if so...

32 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

This is the same league whose owners don't understand early 18th century science. So "stupid enough" certainly is a possibility.

The owners were taking a beating from fans who hated the kneeling and from a President who decided he could profit politically by inserting himself into the mess. I think one thing we can say is that you would certainly be amazed at how stupid people can be. Or rather, it's not so much stupidity but years and years of getting used to the trappings of great power. I'm sure billionaires collude about all sorts of things all the time. And it's possible that, as a business decision, paying Kaepernick this settlement money hurts them far less than dealing with the mess that would happened were he signed.

24 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Interesting that this settlement was made at a time when the season is over, interest in the league is probably pretty low. My thought is that the NFL is hoping that settling now will mean people will forget about this once the season starts again.

I believe Kaep won't ever play another down in the NFL though. No one wants the baggage that may go with him being on the roster, plus the biggest reason to me is that he hasn't taken a snap in 2 seasons now. How many players (particularly QBs) can take that much time off and come back and be effective?

26 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Jeff George is probably the nearest comparison. just rereading his Wiki bio he retired after playing for Washington in 2001, got picked up as an emergency QB by Seattle in 2002, then by Chicago in Nov 2004 and then tried to compete for 3rd string job in Oakland in 2006. Didn't really play in those later years but his ego thought he still had it.

28 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Michael Vick missed the bulk of three seasons while doing time in federal prison and played six more years after that. He was a better passer after his (ahem) sabbatical.

And speaking of Vick, Chris Redman had retired from the NFL after 2003 and was selling insurance, but the 2007 Falcons, desperate after Vick was suspended and I believe Joey Harrington was injured, grabbed him and had him start for four games. He ended up playing four more years after that. I don't know if you can say he was effective, but his numbers with Atlanta were much better than what he had done in his first four years in Baltimore.

29 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Vick is a pretty good comparable for a number of reasons; The style of play, the marketing catastrophe of the issue, similar level of team success. The way I recall it, Vick was a better player and more to the point had his best season right before leaving the league instead of one of his worst. My guess is Kaepernick will get a chance as a backup behind a good QB, not make the team, and then disappear (this is based on the man having two years of terrible tape before being out of the league). This is really what the owners should have done to cover their a** if they really had intentionally colluded in the first place. Who knows though, if he really is effective NFL teams will employ just about anyone - and the NFL media is pretty friendly in covering things the way the NFL wants (though issues of race in the US have such a life of their own I'm not sure the NFL will be able to manage Kaep if he's back in the league).

31 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Vick also had 1,039 yds rushing in 06 for 8.4 yd/carry (vs. 468yds for 6.8 yd/carry). I don't have the DVOA information in front of me, but that's a big gap adjusted for era. Equally passing DVOA measures the passing DVOA of the whole offense, which is at least 70% dependent on factors other than the QB (OL, WR, Scheme, the effectiveness of non-scramble runs, the requirement to spy). Obviously it's a starting place and it puts them in the same ballpark (which is why its such a good comp), but I don't think DVOA is really a useful stat at the individual level.

N.B. I wasn't that astute an observer of football back in 06, or follow the Falcons closely so I freely admit to having highlight-bias in favor of Vick; more to the point the whole league held perception toward Vick that was skewed due to highlight-bias, which was an eminently more powerful effect at the time than it is now with the decline of shows like sports-center.

33 Re: NFL, Kaepernick Apparently Reach Settlement

Now I understand why he wanted so much from the AAF.
I wonder though, how much he would get from an NFL franchise.
He's still pretty good I guess. There's a large market for second and third stringers, and he should be in that discussion.
I couldn't care less about what he does during pre game warmups or when someone sings the USA anthem, I just would love an NFL where the best players play. If they want to be xyz, then please be xyz.