It looks like the NFL blinked.
An agreement was made in the Colin Kaepernick collusion case, his attorney, Mark Geragos, announced on Twitter. Geragos didn’t include any details of the settlement, but did say there had been active dialogue between the two parties, leading to an agreement. The NFL released the same statement, citing a confidentiality agreement as to why no details would be given.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” read the joint statement issued on Friday. “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.”
The collusion case also included Kaepernick’s former teammate Eric Reid. The safety is back in the league after a hiatus, joining the Panthers last season and getting a three-year, $22 million contract from Carolina this offseason.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman said that NFL team officials are speculating Kaepernick’s payout landed between $60-80 million.
Considering Kaepernick recently signed a major endorsement deal with Nike, it would seem doubtful he would need the money, meaning the NFL didn’t want to risk going to trial over the assertion he was being blackballed from the league. He filed a grievance in October of 2017 alleging collusion, based on the collective bargaining agreement, against owners for not signing him to an NFL contract. Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners were set to be deposed and asked to give over their cellphone records and emails for the case, ESPN previously reported.
Kaepernick, 31, became a controversial figure for kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice and racial inequality. He drew nationwide attention, and became a polarizing player. He has not played in the league since opting out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers in 2016, and has generated little to no interest in the league, despite leading the 49ers to the playoffs twice in six seasons, throwing 72 touchdown passes and just 30 interceptions, and running for 2,300 yards in his career.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Kaepernick demanded a $20 million contract to play for the new Alliance of American Football league, which started last weekend. Players earn $225,000 over three years in the AAF. After this settlement, Kaepernick might not need the money.