Kaepernick’s legal team expands search terms for digital evidence

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The Colin Kaepernick collusion grievance had a good week as it relates to the ongoing shunning of a quarterback by teams that clearly have needs for better quarterbacks. The Kaepernick collusion grievance may soon have plenty of good days and weeks as the process of gathering evidence commences.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Kaepernick’s legal team has expanded the scope of search terms that will be used when gathering evidence from text messages, emails, and other digital evidence. This means that a much greater haystack of communications will be available for the search for one or more needles — or large-caliber smoking guns — that would prove collusion.

Those terms (including obvious words like “Kaepernick” and “Trump”) will be used to track down messages exchanged between people on the same team and people who represent different teams that may have any relation, direct or indirect, to the search for quarterbacks and the decision not to sign that specific quarterback. League office internal and external communications also will be relevant.

Also, given the curious manner in which the Colts have handled the Andrew Luck shoulder injury, PFT has learned that Colts owner Jim Irsay could end up being questioned under oath regarding his team’s failure to pursue Kaepernick at any point this year. And here’s the thing about questioning Jim Irsay under oath — as Adam Schefter of ESPN learned the hard way earlier this year when interviewing Irsay for a podcast, Irsay has a tendency to respond to the greeting “how are you” with a disjointed, 14-minute stream of consciousness. And that tendency to ramble aimlessly can be deadly during a deposition, when anything the witness says can and will be used against him — and when every aspect of every response becomes the basis for follow-up questioning.

Schefter reported earlier in the day that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Texans owner Bob McNair, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft will also be questioned under oath. Those depositions have not yet happened (some have interpreted Schefter’s report to mean that they have), and it was known that they were targets. Geragos said on his podcast last week that McNair will be the first one to be questioned due to his “inmates running the prison” remark (which suggests institutional collusion, not the independent operation of 32 different businesses), and Geragos said on the PFT PM podcast that Kraft and President Trump flew together the day before President Trump told a crowd in Kentucky that the owners fear an “angry tweet” from the Commander-in-Chief if they give Kaepernick a job.

As to Jones, he’s been at the forefront of the “make them stand” movement. He also lacks a veteran backup to Dak Prescott, and Kaepernick would have made plenty of sense, given that he and Prescott have similar skills and abilities. Ditto for Kaepernick and Deshaun Watson, which means that McNair will be addressing not only his “inmates” remark but his failure to pursue Kaepernick.

Geragos has said on multiple occasions that this all could go away quickly, if some NFL team simply were to give Kaepernick a job. But it continues to be clear that the only team that would be interested in Kaepernick plays in Seattle, and that they’d want him only if Russell Wilson suffers a season-ending injury. As to the other 31 teams, the chances of Kaepernick getting a job remain somewhere south of slim and none.

100 responses to “Kaepernick’s legal team expands search terms for digital evidence

  1. Making sense football-wise, and making sense business-wise, are two very different things. Sure, he might be a better backup than some, but he is also radioactive to the fan base.

    Also, they need to prove more than just two owners talked about not signing him. They have to prove that the decision was made together.

  2. No player who cared about the future of the NFL would ever be part of a suit like this. Who cares if owners colluded that had no intention of signing Kaepernick individually anyway. Is he saying if there wasn’t collusion, the Pats or Cowboys would have signed him? That is baloney. Kaepernick lost the league tons of revenue from his stunt.

  3. The Packers are starting Brett “87 Yards” Hundley this weekend. I don’t know if that’s proof of collusion but I do know there are at least 100 unemployed QBs who would be an upgrade. Do something, Ted!

  4. Owners make money whether they win or lose. The 49ers, under Jed York, have probably made more money than just about every other team, yet they probably have the fewest wins during that same time period. If they divided the TV revenue according to wins and losses, Kaepernick would have a job, and we’d be argueing about the name of the Redskins or something.

  5. I think the league wide disdain for Kaepernick outweighs any fears of legal culpability in terms of hiring him. If the P.C. bullies try to extract compensation, they’ll just fight it as long as they can. As Squidward Squatter said himself, “This is bigger than football.”, for them now.

  6. This is ridiculous. A private business can choose to hire or not hire any employee they want unless its based on their race, sex, religion, ect. Political views are not a protected class. Win or lose, its ridiculous that people think Kaep is “entitled” to a job. Millennials are the worst generation yet.

  7. They need to do a search for T.J. Yates, I want to know why he was unemployed until recently. Rumor has it he has thrown a football so he should be employed. Free T.J.!

  8. flipola says:
    November 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.

    —————-

    Then the union can void the current CBA, effective immediately. Which is the entire point of the suit.

  9. How many times has Squid said that his “protest” was “bigger than football”? Now he can’t deal with the possibility that the owners treat his presence as “bigger than football”. Seems pretty hypocritical to me, and grounds to dismiss this suit on it’s own.

  10. This should read, Kaepernick’s legal team expands fishing expedition hoping to turn up something they can twist into evidence.

  11. Also, a couple more things: First, how can anyone possibly sign the plaintiff in the case against them? At the very least, this will need to be resolved before anyone could possibly sign him. Second, given that, why depose Kraft? The Patriots have the most clear reason in the league for not signing him: Tom Brady, and a new backup, who already knows the system.

  12. If I’m an owner, I’m ordering my people to not draft any player with a militant background. I wouldn’t bring this in to my organization knowingly.

  13. I don’t get it. The NFL is a business. If a business does not want to hire a person because that person would hurt their business is not that their right? Kaepernick had a contract and he (not the the 49’s) opted out of it. He could be on a team now and making big bucks but he opted out of his contract. If all the owners (NFL Business) don’t want to hire him after he opted out how is that collusion?

  14. I am so sick of the nfl.

    I hope they find evidence of collusion, the players revolt, and the season grinds to a halt.

    The lopsided coddling of certain high profile quarterbacks, referee performance that favors certain players/teams, the demonization of high engine, old school defensive players, and the childish, selfish junior high celebrations have made this game cartoon-ish and neutered.

  15. Dude is a cancer. Why would anyone sign a sub par QB? All he is going to do is stir the team up and lose the team more fans and income. Remember the good old days when football players just played football? The MLB players stand for the Anthem and have every color of man from different countries. Many 3rd world ones. They know a good thing when they see it.

  16. First he tried to manipulate SF, then other players, then the entire nation, and now the legal system. The reasons to not hire him outnumber the reasons to hire him and that’s assuming he can play. But he’s terrible and everything is his fault.

  17. I cant imagine how loud the boo’s would be or how many empty seats would be in the stadium for the team that actually signed him. Media circus would be greater then the SuperBowl. That team should have RG3 as his backup and Ray Rice as the starting RB. I haven’t gone to a game since….signed by a combat Veteran. Stand for the Flag, kneel for prayer

  18. Dallas doesn’t need Kap as a backup because they found a cheaper alternative in Cooper Rush and being an UDFA he’s far cheaper than most backup QBs

  19. Why would anyone what this drama in their clubhouse? Does he really think he can force a team to sign him? If I was an owner, I wouldn’t touch this guy with a 10 foot pole. Let’s all not forget… he WALKED AWAY from his team and contract for 14 Million dollars! Please Kaep – GO AWAY!!

  20. collusion
    n. where two persons (or business entities through their officers or other employees) enter into a deceitful agreement, usually secret, to defraud and/or gain an unfair advantage over a third party, competitors, consumers or those with whom they are negotiating.

    ————————————————–

    Explain to me how this would apply to CK? If they’re not negotiating with CK – he’s not a party to collusion.

    They’ve done NOTHING to restrict his legal rights. He has a right to apply for a job in any industry he so chooses but he does NOT have a legal right or guarantee to receive that job. The fact he got a 1 million dollar book deal shuts the door on the idea that with the NFL he has no other means of income either.

    This is 1L stuff here.

  21. So I can file a lawsuit. So I can look threw their emails and documents to see if I can find something to “get” them. Somehow that doesn’t seem American.

  22. Like him or not, at this point, it’s pretty clear the owners decided they didn’t want him on a team because of his protest and the distraction it would bring. Whether or not this is the result of collusion is the question. But my goodness, there are team where Kaep would clearly be an upgrade…

  23. Suuuuuure… Put Irsay on the stand.

    “Mr. Irsay, why didn’t you pursue Kaepernick?”

    “We didn’t want him.”

    “But you didn’t even bring him in to talk. Why didn’t you want him?”

    “He’s not a fit for the Colts organization.”

    “In what way?”

    “In every way.”

    “Can you be more specific please.”

    “Sure. In every SINGLE way.”

    “Did you talk to other owners about Kaepernick?”

    “Baahahahaha. No.”

    “You’re not being very cooperative here.”

    “That’s not my job.”

    And on and on and on…

  24. “Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.”
    Well, for starters the current CBA would be thrown in the garbage and the owners would have to turn over a bigger piece of pie to the “prisoners” if they had any chance of coming to a new agreement. Secondly, Kap would have enough in punitive damages to own an NFL team. Third, how do you think black players may feel about playing for the NFL or, at least, specific owners? They may have a case to get out of their contracts and start a league of their own. This aint the 50’s, there are enough black people with enough money to start a legitimate alternative league. Which one do you want to watch?

  25. there are team where Kaep would clearly be an upgrade…

    —————————–

    How can he be an upgrade when he lost his job, 100% due to production – to Blaine Gabbert?

    Who should Blaine be starting over? Why isn’t he?

  26. “Explain to me how this would apply to CK? If they’re not negotiating with CK – he’s not a party to collusion.

    They’ve done NOTHING to restrict his legal rights. He has a right to apply for a job in any industry he so chooses but he does NOT have a legal right or guarantee to receive that job. The fact he got a 1 million dollar book deal shuts the door on the idea that with the NFL he has no other means of income either.

    This is 1L stuff here.”

    I didn’t know they were still giving away law degrees in Cracker Jack boxes.

  27. flipola says:
    November 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.
    _________________________________________________

    It’s not about that. It’s all about da Benjaminsizzz…..

  28. It’s disappointing to me that this case is being given the legitimacy by the media that it has. The reality is that this case is a joke, and it will ultimately amount to nothing happening because it’s super-unlikely that there was any collusion that took place and the reality is that teams don’t want Kaepernick for much the same reason they didn’t want Tim Tebow: it’s too much of a circus for a backup quarterback. Kaep is far from the first person this has ever happened to, and he won’t be the last.

    This case was filed in a feeble attempt to essentially blackmail an NFL team into signing the guy. And IF the league thought there was even the slightest reason to worry that collusion did take place, a team surely would have snatched him up very quickly after this lawsuit was filed.

  29. Well, for starters the current CBA would be thrown in the garbage and the owners would have to turn over a bigger piece of pie to the “prisoners” if they had any chance of coming to a new agreement.

    ———

    A bigger piece of the ever shrinking pie. Ratings are down, fans are mad, and sponsors are worried. If there’s ever a time that the owners would be willing to re-negotiate, it’s right now. They have the leverage.

    Plus, let’s say the players strike over lack of agreement on a new CBA. I’m sure there are plenty of young men willing to fill the rosters that won’t be so hell-bent in irritating the fans.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  30. We keep hearing how Kaepernick can seemingly fit in to any system.
    That’s highly unlikely, but journalists refuse to let this BS wither and die.
    If PFT had the stones, put in a survey to see how many readers want to be told every nuance about this continuing circus

  31. Shows you what a punk this guy is, Mr social justice warrior doesn’t like the Consequences of his girlfriends directives. Go sue now crybaby.

  32. “the 49ers would simply be looking for someone better than Kaepernick — which at this point is a fairly low bar.” – Mike Florio @ PFT (10/11/15)

    “He has rapidly declined from a very good quarterback to a terrible quarterback, at an age when most quarterbacks are still getting better.” – Michael David Smith @ PFT (10/24/2016)

    How quickly we forget.

  33. Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.

    ———–

    Uhh the CBA can be automatically cancelled, Kaepernick can probably successfully sue for hundreds of millions of dollars in lost salary and damages…

  34. 1) Just because his lawyers request a broader search list doesn’t mean that is the list a judge would ultimately allow. Words like “Trump” would be argued as protected & private political speech, which is something that a Liberal political activist like Kaepernick could abuse as shame blackmail during or after the case, regardless of whether it has any relevance to Kaepernick’s case or which side of the political winds the owners lean. Including a political term within the search would make it accessible & abusable in the media, and almost certainly would be. This same argument would be applied towards a whole host of “words” (issues) related the barriers between the Owners & the Players Association.
    2) The NFL is a private entity, and Court orders must be honored, but the NFLPA will need to substantially justify that they aren’t on a ‘fishing expedition’ before a judge actually issues an order to collect data from 32 private Companies & Individuals. It’s called “Reasonable Search & Seizure”. Unless the NFLPA can prove there is high likelihood that a law has been broken, then private citizens aren’t required to just start handing over private information / correspondence. It’s the same thing as if a guy gets pulled over & a cop asks him if they can search his car. All he has to say is “no”, and unless the cops can somehow justify that a law has likely been broken & there is proof being hidden in the car to a judge to gain a warrant, then the cops will never be legally allowed to search that vehicle. The burden on the NFLPA will a steep ‘uphill battle…since their position is 100% based on conjecture (which has 0% legal value).

    NFL lawyers will tear this case to shreds, exposing it as nothing more than another player’s association PR move…without any true value or merits.

  35. Kap cant hold Dak or DeShaun’s jock straps. they are actually good NFL QB who can throw the ball down field. Not one read and run like Kaepernick!

  36. Kaepernick’s teams went 2 – 12 his last year in the NFL. Maybe he’s a cancer in the locker room. Maybe he has a toxic attitude. Maybe he should’t have opted out of a contract that was guaranteed to pay him over $14 million dollars. He is not being held responsible for anything while claiming collision. If their his no collusion found he should be counter sued by the NFL for all legal costs. Maybe insulting people by kneeling for the National Anthem was his way of making a point. Maybe the fact that he can’t find a job is the NFL’s way of making theirs. I am still offended by the kneelers and NO, I’m not missing ANY point.

  37. mn2long says:
    November 3, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    “Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.”
    Well, for starters the current CBA would be thrown in the garbage and the owners would have to turn over a bigger piece of pie to the “prisoners” if they had any chance of coming to a new agreement. Secondly, Kap would have enough in punitive damages to own an NFL team. Third, how do you think black players may feel about playing for the NFL or, at least, specific owners? They may have a case to get out of their contracts and start a league of their own. This aint the 50’s, there are enough black people with enough money to start a legitimate alternative league. Which one do you want to watch?
    ————————-

    What a load of hooey.

    The players have no power, and none of them are going to give up millions of dollars to gamble on an alternative league that absolutely no one would watch.

  38. Good grief. PFT = putting on your lawyer hat (and oft-cited Employment Law experience) I’d love a take on these simple and direct questions:

    >>What business (private enterprise) would hire a candidate that was suing that business?
    >>Why are the rights of private business owners to make decisions in the best interest of their business in their view, some egregious miscarriage of justice…and how is that different than choices the candidate makes to put himself in the situation?
    >>What industry is forced to guarantee employment to anyone if they are deemed not a fit for the role because of the risk / reward in what the candidate brings to the table?
    >>Moreover and more simplistically – Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson could blast social injustice incessantly….and at least 28-30 teams would sign them in a heartbeat.
    >>Last ques – how much is the retainer you secured from Kaep’s camp?

    Baffling.

  39. I once saw Kaep overthrow a WR by 30 yards and hit a Niners trainer in the head on the sideline. Yet that was still more on target than this dead end grievance.

  40. Ex-NFL player stirring the pot with an ambulance chaser.
    Except for PFT, nobody cares. The media is perpetuating the narrative.
    It gets clicks.
    It’s otherwise irrelevant.
    Even from a SJW standpoint. He’s not the face of anything other than mediocre to bad quarterbacking.
    The ones who think he’s good are fantasy stat guys who never saw more than highlights. Anyone who actually watched games know how mediocre he is.

  41. Okay Florio, as you continue this crusade, I would really appreciate you answering one question: One what basis does Colin Kaepernick have a RIGHT to an NFL roster spot?

    You are assuming that the only purpose of the NFL is winning football games. It is not. The NFL is a business, and businesses exist to earn a profit. As such, the owners have a duty to protect the profitability of their franchises. They have rightly concluded that signing Kaepernick would hurt their bottom line, and as such they have every right to avoid signing him. That only constitutes collusion in fantasy land.

  42. baldy55 says:

    Those owners are going to have to destroy their phones like SHADY BRADY did.
    =====================================================

    Yeah, I’m sure someone is going to confiscate the phones of 32 billionaires because a former player is suing.

  43. You guys don’t have to like him but there’s no denying Kaepernick’s numbers. 72 TDs / 30 Ints and a 89 QB rating! Compare these numbers to the guys being signed. It’s 100% collusion.

  44. Blacks used to be slaves, and whites were given an extra 0.6 on the census to vote.
    The Supreme Court said that a free black man in the north had to be sent back to the south because once a slave, always a slave.
    Whites murdered blacks who looked at white women, acted uppity, or in general needed murdering.
    Muhammad Ali went to jail because he wouldn’t go to Vietnam.
    MLK advocated justice for all poor people and was murdered.
    Yet even in 2017, when poor people and minorities simply don’t want to be shot in the back by police, their is a tidal wave of uproar about staying in your place and respecting the flag.
    History will have a harsh judgement on the views of many Americans about today’s injustices. There wouldn’t be people fighting for justice if those in power weren’t so corrupt.

  45. this is what happens when you try & placate a militant which is what kaepernick became. you lost me at pig socks you hypocritical racist

  46. Each team should have the right to hire whatever player they want and for whatever reason they want. I still think the league will end up giving him a few million to just go away. In the end the only person at fault here is Colin Kaepernick himself. He caused and brought abut his situation himself. Idiot.

  47. There’s a difference between being a good NFL starter and a good NFL backup.

    Case Keenum is a solid example. He came in as the backup yet knows that even though he is playing competent football at this moment, as soon as either Bradford or Bridgewater are fit then they will probably start.

    I do not think that Kaepernick has demonstrated any ability to be a good backup. Teams with a young starter want a backup who will support his development, and teams with an older starter usually want a younger backup to develop.

    Yes Kaepernick has in the past played at a high standard, but that was in the past. Until he or his “legal team” come out and say that he is prepared to accept a lower end one year backup contract – Keenum is getting $2m I believe – then why should any team bring him in!

  48. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I want to play.

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I made millions sitting on the bench when I wasn’t squatting like a woman.

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa those white owners won’t hire me and this proves they are colluding to prevent me from ever playing again.

    Let me sue them just to show them how much they should want me to play for them.

  49. That a team must design their offense for CK is the reason he is not playing. He is not a pocket QB in an age when 100% of the teams have pro-style offenses. Rogers is a pocket passer who is creative when the pocket breaks down, his outside the pocket play isn’t by design but by pure creativity. The same for Newton and Watson only to a lesser extent.

  50. The media and PFT continuing to push this kind of story and narrative is the same reason a Trump won.

  51. Look no further than the Russians. I knew it is the fault of the Russians that he is not playing.

  52. We know the NFL is full of quarterbacks who aren’t as good as Colin Kaepernick. The collusion is Jerry Jones and other owners who speak to Trump regularly. The day after an owners meeting, Jones and the CNFL teams exhibited unusual and bizarre behavior regarding Colin Kaepernick’s prospective employment. Multiple NFL head coaches and general managers stated that they wanted to sign Kaepernick, only to go silent with no explanation and no contract offer made to Kaepernick. Other NFL teams stated they had no interest in Kaepernick and refused to explain why. NFL teams who ran offensive systems favorable to Kaepernick’s style of play instead employed retired quarterbacks or quarterbacks who had not played in a regular season game in years, and signed them to significant contracts while prohibiting Kaepernick from even trying out or interviewing for those jobs.

  53. As Gramps would say, “The chickens have come home to roost in the bed you made for yerself, Squidward.”…. or something like that. Then he’d spit on the ground and hitch up his overalls. Now the chickens have come home to roost in his bed. It’s a good thing he’s skinny these days.

  54. Cue the leaks from ‘unnamed sources’ about other NFL topics (or not) during the off season likely complete with screenshots.

    No chance it doesn’t happen. All the judicial orders in the world won’t prevent it.

  55. “This whole thing will go away if just one team signs KaepernicK”.

    These lawyers are basically trying to blackmail the league ownership with a statement like that. My original question still stands; who in their right mind would ever want to bring this guy and his baggage to their team?

  56. Demonstrating league-wide collusion–which is what’s been alleged–requires proof that all 32 owners conspired to keep Kaepernick from finding work. No one will find that because it doesn’t exist.

  57. I think it would be hilarious if they got Irsay under oath. As you mention, once he starts rambling anything could come out about almost anything. Kap, deflategate, the woman who OD’d in his house, Colts hiding injuries and Goodell colluding with them to not punish, who knows what other dark dark places and rabbit holes he could climb down into without realizing what he was doing.

    Kraft and McNair might not be quite as bad but I’m quite sure they don’t want to say anything about anything under oath. Also heard mentioned Goodell could be forced to testify too, and that they wanted the various owners and Goodell’s cell phones and email files to examine.

    This is one of the league’s worst nightmares.

    Lolz

  58. They are using their discovery powers as leverage. They knowthere was no collusion but maybe if their suit is going to result in enough hassle the NFL will cave. This is a common tactic in these civil suits to try and force settlement. If the NFL still does not cave they will keep on demanding more. They will misuse some info (leak something that maybe has nothing to do with Kaep but is not something someone wanted getting out) so that everyone gets wortied about letting them have stuff then demand more. Its a game. Not a nice game, but still a game.

  59. flipola says:
    November 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    Let’s just say they find 100% evidence of collusion. What then? You still can’t make a team sign him.

    ————
    This is completely true. Even if they were going to try I am not sure how they pick the team.

    A team would need to pay money out of the owners pocket, they also would have to use up cap space. And they would need a roster slot. Since rosters are full this means some other player gets put out of work. This would be a player who earned his position then gad it taken away because some guyguy won a court case. The player that got cut under these circumstances would in fact be a true victim of collusin so if he gets his own lawyer thats a pretty winnable case.

  60. If he can prove collusion it would invalidate the current CBA. He could wreck the league. In a good way though. I hate Kaepernick but it really is time that NFL players started getting paid something close to what baseball and basketball players make.

  61. bryancoxmiddlefinger says:
    November 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Shows you what a punk this guy is, Mr social justice warrior doesn’t like the Consequences of his girlfriends directives. Go sue now crybaby.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    He is. I guess you missed it. And he just might win.

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