The legal team of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick reached an agreement with the NFL on Friday, ending the lawsuit against the NFL. Kaepernick had originally pursued the lawsuit after the free agency period of 2017, when no team offered Kaepernick a contract. The former NFL quarterback argued that the league was colluding against him, with owners “blackballing” Kaepernick by not offering him a contract. Kaepernick had argued that his kneeling protest of the national anthem was the reason behind the collusion, giving he and former teammate Eric Reid a viable reason to sue the league.
This settlement comes just weeks before Kaepernick’s lawsuit was to be investigated. The timing of this settlement indicates that the NFL was likely going to be found guilty of collusion against Kaepernick, with the payoff ending the case out of court. Many would say that Kaepernick won this one over the NFL, as others argue that he is “selling out”, and taking the money over the truth of the matter. By agreeing to the settlement, the findings of the court case will never be revealed, ending the lawsuits of Reid and Kaepernick.
The agreement settlement had a confidentiality and nondisclosure clause in place, making any discussion of the case and its’ details unlawful. Although the media has yet to release a figure on the amount of money given to Reid and Kaepernick for settlement, it has been estimated that the figure is between $55-$100 million.
Eric Reid has found a new team in Carolina with the Panthers, but what is next for Kaepernick? Many experts don’t expect the agreement to change the playing status of Kaepernick, with the likelihood of him joining another NFL team being unlikely. A more reasonable return to football for Kaepernick could come in the form of the new football league, the AAF. But, considering the payday Kaepernick received from the NFL to end his lawsuit, plus the endorsements he has received from the protesting, Kaepernick may not play professional football again.