The dueling reports regarding the reasons for the cancellation of the Colin Kaepernick workout in Seattle set the stage for a good, old-fashioned pissing match. From Kaepernick’s perspective (as reported by ESPN, Yahoo Sports, and PFT), the Seahawks canceled the workout because Kaepernick declined to commit that he wouldn’t kneel during the anthem. From the team’s perspective (as reported by the media outlet owned and operated by the Seahawks and the other 31 NFL teams), the Seahawks opted to delay the workout because they wanted to know more about Kaepernick’s broader plan regarding the situation.
Clearly, the dispute regarding the facts of the interactions between the Seahawks and Kaepernick will become an issue in his collusion grievance, which already was due to include depositions of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Seahawks G.M. John Schneider. If those interactions happened verbally, the truth will be resolved by an assessment of the accuracy and overall credibility of the witnesses. If those interactions happened via email or text message, it may be a lot easier to decide who’s telling the truth, and who isn’t.
Meanwhile, a tweet posted by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media following his first two Twitter entries confirms that the “plan” about which the Seahawks are curious includes Kaepernick’s “lawsuit” — more specifically, his collusion grievance. Quite possibly, the Seahawks and the NFL hope that an offer of employment will prompt Kaepernick to abandon his collusion claim, as part of a formal settlement. Although attorney Mark Geragos was willing to walk away from the collusion case in its early stages, it’s possible that he’ll react differently now that evidence to support the claim has been harvested.
This is a common dynamic in employment litigation. Early on, the business refuses to consider settlement, opting to fight, fight, and fight some more. Then, after realizing following a few rounds (and one or two standing-eight counts) that the fight may not end well, settlement suddenly becomes far more palatable.
For Kaepernick and Geragos, the question possibly becomes whether they’re willing at this point to let the league and its teams off the ropes, or whether they choose to punch them through.