Kaepernick collusion case proving that teams viewed him as a starting quarterback

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Remember when quarterback Colin Kaepernick initially went unsigned after becoming a free agent in March 2017? Remember the false and overstated concerns that were being pushed to justify the position that he was unemployed for football reasons? Remember when some said that was all a bunch of crap?

As it turns out, it was.

If the subtle-on-the-surface shift that happened last July, when Kaepernick’s status went from being about only football to being about non-football considerations, wasn’t enough to prove that the “all about football” narrative amounted to nonsense, the ongoing collusion case is establishing that multiple teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting NFL quarterback in 2017, and that they continue to view him that way. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, internal franchise documents generated as part of the free-agency evaluation process and testimony from witnesses harvested via depositions in the collusion litigation has established that teams viewed Kaepernick as being good enough not simply to be employed by an NFL team, but to be a starting quarterback for an NFL team.

So why wasn’t he?

The real reason has been obvious for more than a year, and if anyone still believes that Kaepernick’s unemployment arose from the belief that he couldn’t perform at a sufficiently high level, that’s just simply not the case. (Although at this point there’s no chance anyone’s long-made-up mind will be changing on anything related to Kaepernick, facts notwithstanding.) The deeper question becomes whether Kaepernick and his lawyers can prove coordination among the teams and/or through the league office in connection with the decision to steer clear of Kaepernick based on his role at the forefront of protests that occurred during the national anthem.

Whether coordination can or can’t be proven, the collusion case will conclusively prove one thing, regardless of whether anyone wants to believe it: Multiple teams believed that Colin Kaepernick was still good enough to play after becoming a free agent more than a year ago. Which means that, at least as to Kaepernick, the notion that teams make decisions based only on trying to win football games doesn’t hold water.

120 responses to “Kaepernick collusion case proving that teams viewed him as a starting quarterback

  1. It’s curious how you jump right to the question of whether Kap’s lawyers can “prove” collusion. But why do you discount the possibility that each QB-needy team independently said to itself “this is a pain in the ass distraction I don’t need”?

  2. He was good enough to start for some teams without the added baggage and crap he brings to your team. With the protest crap, alienating large parts of your fan base he has to be better than good enough to start for some teams, with all that he better get you a Lombardi trophy, he isn’t that good, so it is a talent issue still.

  3. Shouldn’t matter. Owners are the employers, and if they did want Kap, even solely for the fact that he kneeled during the anthems, that is their right.

  4. Even if teams believe that he’s a starting QB, he can’t make them give him a job! Trying to prove that his unemployment is an coordinated effort among NFL teams is difficult, if not impossible to prove!

  5. Thanks Florio, for keeping sports journalistic integrity alive by posting this truth, even though you’ll get crushed by trolls and haters (as usual) as will I for responding positively (as usual). The amount of venom circulating around Kaepernick remains mind-boggling, but readers who haven’t been jaded by the politics of hatred appreciate someone – anyone – laying out facts, whether or not a posting will be “popular” among a particularly low-brow segment of viewership. Bravo.

  6. This is ridiculous. Greg Hardy was good enough to be on a roster…Teams have a right to employ/not employ anyone they want for any reason. QB position is special, as NFL rosters go. You don’t tolerate things from that position that you might tolerate from DE or WR. Kaepernick wasn’t worth the trouble he caused.

  7. Despite all your drum beating, there is nothing to the collusion claim.

    Kaepernick, at one time, had the ability that made him a starting caliber NFL QB.

    As his protest activities grew, his QB abilities lessened. It was clear to anyone who actually paid attention that Kaepernick was focusing more on his protests than he was on the game of football.

    32 owners watched this play out and independently decided that Kaepernick was not a viable option for their team.

    Seriously, this is obvious to anyone that doesn’t have a collusion (Although at this point there’s no chance anyone’s long-made-up mind will be changing on anything related to Kaepernick, facts notwithstanding.).

  8. “The amount of venom circulating around Kaepernick remains mind-boggling”

    The hatred was started by Colin Kaepernick, not anyone else. He opened up a box he couldn’t close. Said another way, “his mouth wrote a check his butt couldn’t cover.”

    I feel zero sympathy for him. No fan base wants that crap on their team, except for maybe the Raiders.

  9. The opinion of many was that Kaepernick wasn’t good enough to justify alienating a large segment of a teams fanbase. Teams consider a lot more than a players ability when deciding if they should sign him. That’s why there are extensive interviews at the combine, pre-draft visits and Free Agent visits. If talent were the only deciding factor, Kaepernick would be on a roster.

  10. If owners admit he has talent, but still don’t want him because of his effect on the team … that’s fine. However, if owners are being told to not hire him then they have a problem.

  11. This whole case is irrelevant. The owners are the employers and as such they have the right to determine if a potential employee is going to be good for their organization. Obviously Kap has done very little to make himself employable.

  12. Dan Muston says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:21 am
    Part of winning football games is having a cohesive locker room. Unity.
    ***********************
    Part of a winning American society, is equality across the board. You know,a cohesive population that’s treated the same. UNITY. Protesting is as American as apple pie. It’s a Constitutional right.

    There will be all kinds of reasons brought forth for Kaep’s unemployment. His playing ability is NOT one of them. Documentary evidence will make this case an easy one. The NFL will settle this one.

  13. You’re taking too narrow a definition of “football reasons” – for when you assess someone for any job, talent is only one part of the “work reasons”. Anyway, Kaep was terrible in his last 2 seasons at 9ers, was outcompeted on the team by Blaine Gabbert for starter before the 2016 season. He then starts his anthem protests. But during that season after Gabbert was poor, Kaep got put back in only to be so bad – 4 yds (FOUR), week 13, v Bears – he got benched again, then last year walked away from being a highly paid backup on the team.

    But this is a collusion case, not a talent contest, and Kaep’s argument is that all these teams would have had him as their starter to get some of that 4yds/gm magic dust, but somehow formed a secret pact to keep him out of the league. Well, other protestors got contracts, and some teams have backed their protesting, so it ain’t about that, Kaep. The only mystery is how much yardage the media gives you back for those 4 yards you gave them.

  14. bigmark67 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:04 am
    He was good enough to start for some teams without the added baggage and crap he brings to your team. With the protest crap, alienating large parts of your fan base he has to be better than good enough to start for some teams, with all that he better get you a Lombardi trophy, he isn’t that good, so it is a talent issue still.

    ———————————

    That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him. Change the rule if you don’t want players to protest, but Kap was well within his rights to protest. How can many of you call yourselves football fans but not see talent wise Kap is better than 90% of the backup QBs in the league, and probably 20% of the starters.

  15. He can be talented enough to be an NFL starting QB and still have the decision to not play him be “about football.”

    Football is a team sport. So much talk about “alienating a segment of the fan base” but what about alienating a segment of the locker room? That’s part of it too. You can have supporter (Reid, e.g.) but you can also see guys who were quite put off by some of Kaep’s antics.

    As an Owner or GM you have to consider the matter of how one players’ presence may affect your ability to build a united locker room. As a coach you have to consider how one player may relate to his team mates on the field.

    Teams need their starting QB to be a partner in building team unity. “Talent” isn’t the only factor in that equation.

    I do not doubt Mr. Kaepernick’s good intentions, but what he did what highlight and accentuate division by focusing on “social injustice.” That’s a vague term that can mean many things to many people, and many people thought his approach – “denigrating the flag and the anthem” (as they considered it) – was inappropriate and divisive.

  16. mmiller1967 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:04 am
    It’s curious how you jump right to the question of whether Kap’s lawyers can “prove” collusion. But why do you discount the possibility that each QB-needy team independently said to itself “this is a pain in the ass distraction I don’t need”?

    Why is it curious? They are suing trying to prove team colluded together to keep him out of the league, so that’s what they have to prove. Why teams individually turned him down isn’t relevant as a legal matter

  17. I came to the same conclusion and I didn’t ask for any help nor talk to anyone from the NFL, PFT nor any of my friends. But I don’t think he’s a starting NFL QB. Figured it out when he did mop-up work against the Giants and did a one read and run. Either way, it does not mean people colluded.

    It makes sense to not serve coffee naked. Is collusion because everyone wears clothes? No, it’s good for business.

  18. Any team that would make a decision that would tick off a large portion of their fan base would be stupid. After all your talking about a mediocre QB. And there’s a lot of them available.

  19. The key question is not whether Kap was viewed as a starting quarterback, but whether he was viewed as a starting quarterback of sufficient skill to produce enough wins to overcome the loss of revenue due to negative fan reaction to his “stand”. Owning an NFL team is a business–you don’t hire an employee that is going to cost you more money than you make as a result of employing the services of the employee. Kap would need to be more than just a mediocre starting QB in order for a team to see the value in hiring him just because his kneeling would cost the team some amount in revenues.

  20. I don’t care if he is the best QB in NFL History. If I were an owner I wouldn’t dream of signing Mr. Pig Socks. He’s bad for business.

  21. A. Professional football is a business.
    B. A business exists to make a profit.
    C. The NFLPA through the CBA gets just under 50% of revenue, not profit, revenue.
    D. The NFLPA represents all the players not just the stars.
    E. It is not responsible if the owners act in a manner that is inconsistent with growing revenue. It screws themselves and the other players.
    F. Therefor it is common sense to not employ CK not collusion. Unless politics is more important then the fans right to free speech and the owners and players right to make $$$.

  22. Fact: The Giants said they received a large number of letters (correspondence) from fans requesting that Kaepernick should not be signed.

    Fact: The Ravens said they received a large number of letters (correspondence) from fans requesting that Kaepernick should not be signed.

    Fact: Kaepernick is a questionable talent.

    Fact: Kaepernick has not been signed for over a year.

    Obvious conclusion: The fan backlash combined with Kaepernick’s questionable talent is why he goes unsigned. If teams were certain that he could succeed, they wouldn’t care what the fans think. Since they aren’t sure about how good he could be, they have chosen not to give him an opportunity. The teams don’t care that he kneeled but the fans do and because the fans do, the teams do. There is no collusion to keep him out, the teams just don’t feel he is worth the investment.

  23. “The excuses some will make to shape an opinion. Just to show ignorance is amazing to me. To be nearsighted is a choice.”

    Can I buy a vowel?

  24. He was benched for Blaine Gabbert, started sulking, decided his sulking applied to the entire country and not just his team, and then opted out of his contract so he could go make way more money as a socialist somehow. All matters of public record.

  25. Kaep was terrible (3-16) in his last 2 seasons at 9ers, was outcompeted on the team by Blaine Gabbert for starter before the anthem controversy. And after Gabbert was poor, Kaep got put back in only to be so bad – 4 yds (FOUR), week 13, v Bears – he got benched again. Then last year he walked away from being a highly paid backup at 9ers.

    Kaep’s argument is that all these teams would have had him as their starter to get some of that 4yd magic dust, but somehow formed a pact to keep him out of the league because of his protests. But other protestors got contracts, so the only mystery is how much yardage the media gives Kaep for those 4 he gained against the Bears.

  26. Kaep was regressing and add the fact that football wasn’t his priority, it was a no brainer for GMs to stay away from him.

  27. Kap made his choice and the owners made theirs. Both have rights and the reality is you have to live with those consequences. If you can’t then don’t pretend to be a hero.

  28. Johnny Manziel is good enough to be a starting quarterback in the NFL What teams do not want to put up with his actions off the field
    I think teens do not want the baggage that come with Colin Kaepernick
    Perhaps Kaepernick can revive his career in the CFL
    I don’t think it’s collusion just no team is desperate enough to take on a player that brings controversy and one form or another

  29. “That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him. Change the rule if you don’t want players to protest, but Kap was well within his rights to protest. How can many of you call yourselves football fans but not see talent wise Kap is better than 90% of the backup QBs in the league, and probably 20% of the starters.”

    He’s not unemployed because of just his protesting. There are plenty of players in the NFL that protested. He added to it by wearing pig socks, calling all cops murderers, wearing a Castro shirt, allowing his girlfriend to call the owner of the Ravens a slave owner and Ray Lewis an Uncle Tom. Those are more the reasons, and those stupid acts are not protected under the NFL and CBA.

  30. What a waste of time. Of course Kaep was talented enough for some teams who run the style of offense he has been successful in before in particular. In todays NFL there are still several such teams. In fact, one of those teams, Seattle, really seemed to want him, and due to HIS actions of not being unable to emphatically state that he would not continue to kneel in uniform during the anthem, chose to hold off, or not try and sign him. He seems to want teams to defer to his “right” to behave as he believes OVER what the team feels is best for them so, he is not unsigned. Had Kaep had changed his view and taken the Johnny Manzell route, I believe he would be signed. Seattle for sure. In reality most teams don’t want to bother. But there are a few teams that, had Kaep had taken the Johnny Manzel route (doing things to prove he was full on football mode first and try to win the confidence of teams to take a chance) OH, and not filed a law suit yet, he would be on a team.

    So, NFL collusion NOT conclusive. Kaep. himself did NOT do enough to put the teams to the test prior to filing this grievance. These players are independent contractors not employees. So, they have to be what the team wants.

  31. So looking at the teams that talked to him, heck lets start with Seattle..we are to believe he was in there being looked at for the starting slot over Wilson?

    I can conceed that the Ravens might have thought about some day replacing Flacco. But I also think there was deliberate effort by people on Kaepernicks side to insure that doesnt happen. (Because my own personal belief is that a football field will prove that it was always about lack of ability and he knows that)

    Why is he subpoenaing Kraft then. Are we seriously expected to believe they had some thought he should replace Brady?

    So I dont believe any team that had him in had any thought of getting him for a starting role. (Consideration how if the starter gets hurt and the backup goes into the game might work is automatic for all backups and nit an indicator they are considering the backup to win the role) I might buy that some teams would have been willing to entertain him as a backup for low backup money (which reports, but not first hand knowledge I can cite, say he was not interested in). But then they still had to worry about how this guy plays his cards. No one wants a backup that sulks on the bench hinting at racism that he isnt starting. No one wants politicall charged media microexamining their starter{s every moment suggesting over even an errant throw that Kaepernick should have been put in and asking the coach after the game if racism played into not making the change. No one wants their starting qb having to answer questions after games whether racism is helping him kerp his job. These are not crazy ideas, they would happen. This is why no one should be laying politics and social issues over on top of football decisions and why teams would keep their distance from any situation where they would not be afforded that choice. Right now a team cant so much as contact his agent for an initial inquiry without becoming engulfed in a media storm and now even earns subpoenas afterward. Owners dont need to do any agreements among themselves to decide they dont want that headache in their organization. Even if a team that badly beeds a starter (so far I think everyone that spoke to him had a solud starter) was to look into that they still dont want a headache. What if he got benched because he had negative yards going on or somehow just wasnt gettimg the job done. An owner wants his coach free to make such game devisions without having to worty about defending himself from racism charges after. And its no question all of that would happen, the proof us everywhere. Even this article adds to the proof.

  32. He was a starting quarterback then he went veagan and his body mass started to shrink. He never had a great touch on his passes. But when he was no longer a physical runner, his value dropped.

  33. That’s a lot of big talk guys. It’s a simple question. What is the right thing to do? Give this man a job or not? The right thing to do is give this man a job, of course!

  34. I don’t know. Maybe I don’t want the guy at the most important position in all of sports to lead a team while talking about oppression (which I tend to agree with) while wearing a Castro shirt. Literally proves that he is clueless.
    Oh and because any team doesn’t want him due to potential distractions doesn’t make it collusion.

  35. ninetysixer says:
    May 21, 2018 at 7:59 am
    broke in 10 years

    ————————
    Unless there are interest groups secretly bankrolling his legal fees its not even going to be 10 years.

  36. He also viewed himself as a starting QB which is why he wanted a salary that no one was going to pay him.

  37. As a Fins fan, I live with Tannehill. Is he a starting QB in this league? Absolutely. Is he a great QB? No. Will he take over a team and take them to the Super Bowl? No.

    Kaepernick could, once upon a time. His latest body of work isn’t that good. There are questions about him without Harbaugh, which are valid.

    He comes with issues for any team that picks him up. This is the guy who hates police officers and gave money to a cop killer. Not exactly a model of love and acceptance. So if a team doesn’t want him because of that, who can really argue? If 32 teams have decided each they don’t want him, who can really argue?

  38. streetyson says:
    May 21, 2018 at 7:54 am
    Kaep was terrible (3-16) in his last 2 seasons at 9ers, was outcompeted on the team by Blaine Gabbert for starter before the anthem controversy. And after Gabbert was poor, Kaep got put back in only to be so bad – 4 yds (FOUR), week 13, v Bears – he got benched again. Then last year he walked away from being a highly paid backup at 9ers.
    ——————-

    For that one part the 49rs contributed to the situation by pushing him to walk away. They made it clear to him they were done trying to have him as starter and they were unwilling to pay that much for a backup so if he didn’t walk away he was getting cut. He seemed to think teams would fall all over themselve offering max contracts for him so he did that. Its very possible that had he gone around saying he would take low backup money to get where he could compete for a starter job he would have gotten that. He could have done one year prove it deals so he could go for the brass ring the next year if he had indeed proved something. Of course now that he has sued the league and shown all owners whats waiting for them if they so much as look his way there are very burned bridges so that now I do believe no one is weighing his foirball ability goid, vad, or otherwise.

  39. “Why is it curious? They are suing trying to prove team colluded together to keep him out of the league, so that’s what they have to prove. Why teams individually turned him down isn’t relevant as a legal matter”

    But if they decide independently it’s NOT collusion. Isn’t collusion an important part of collusion??

  40. No matter what happens, kaepernick still lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert.
    That alone proves he is NOT an NFL starting QB.

  41. So apparently 18 total touchdowns, 7 turnovers, about 2400 total yards, and a completion percentage of less than 60% is viewed as starting QB material in the league?

  42. No one cares anymore. Kaepernick is unemployed today because the owners can plainly see that his presence on their team would have negative impact on their brand. That’s no collusion, but common sense.

    Kaepernick has spent the last three years un-apologetically bashing America in general and law enforcement in particular, while praising a mass-murdering dictator. That’s not only incoherent, but also just plain stupid. The only question I have left is why some people in the media can’t figure this out.

  43. What a lot of people dont understand, is that the root of this case isnt about protests or whether a team will hire a player that will protest.

    The underlying issue at work here is that his protest is a political opinion. (if you like it or not) and are the owners refusing to hire someone over political stances, which is illegal. If we turn this around, this is the same as the grocery store declaring that they wont hire people who support the second amendment or google saying they wont hire anyone who registers as republican. You cant discriminate based on political stance, same as race, sex or disability. If he can do the job, and hes more capable than the other candidates, you cant discriminate based on his political views.

  44. unkleruckus says:
    May 21, 2018 at 7:03 am
    bigmark67 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:04 am
    He was good enough to start for some teams without the added baggage and crap he brings to your team. With the protest crap, alienating large parts of your fan base he has to be better than good enough to start for some teams, with all that he better get you a Lombardi trophy, he isn’t that good, so it is a talent issue still.

    ———————————

    That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him. Change the rule if you don’t want players to protest, but Kap was well within his rights to protest. How can many of you call yourselves football fans but not see talent wise Kap is better than 90% of the backup QBs in the league, and probably 20% of the starters.

    ————————-

    Ummmm. that isn’t what this lawsuit is about….And it is not illegal to not hire him under the CBA. The lawsuit is whether or not the owners teamed up and came to an agreement together that he would not be employed in the league. Kaep may have talent, but the extra baggage and media circus brought on by having him on the team makes it not worth the risk for a back-up for teams.

  45. That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him. Change the rule if you don’t want players to protest, but Kap was well within his rights to protest. How can many of you call yourselves football fans but not see talent wise Kap is better than 90% of the backup QBs in the league, and probably 20% of the starters.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wrong. Individual ownership’s and teams CAN hold his protest against him by choosing not to employ him. What is not allowed is for teams to make agreements amongst themselves to not employ him.

    The other factor that SHOULD be held against him is his contribution to ratings declines and the subsequent loss in revenue to the broadcast partners. I know if I personally caused multi-million dollar losses, I would not be employable either. It is time for him to put his Nevada education to work.

  46. qdog112 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:50 am
    Dan Muston says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:21 am
    Part of winning football games is having a cohesive locker room. Unity.
    ***********************
    Part of a winning American society, is equality across the board. You know,a cohesive population that’s treated the same. UNITY. Protesting is as American as apple pie. It’s a Constitutional right.

    There will be all kinds of reasons brought forth for Kaep’s unemployment. His playing ability is NOT one of them. Documentary evidence will make this case an easy one. The NFL will settle this one.

    —————

    Where in the Constitution does it give a person the right to stage a political protest while working at their job? Why don’t you go in this week and stage a protest at your job each day and then get back to us how it all works out for you….

  47. unkleruckus says:
    May 21, 2018 at 7:03 am
    bigmark67 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:04 am
    He was good enough to start for some teams without the added baggage and crap he brings to your team. With the protest crap, alienating large parts of your fan base he has to be better than good enough to start for some teams, with all that he better get you a Lombardi trophy, he isn’t that good, so it is a talent issue still.

    ———————————

    That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him. Change the rule if you don’t want players to protest, but Kap was well within his rights to protest. How can many of you call yourselves football fans but not see talent wise Kap is better than 90% of the backup QBs in the league, and probably 20% of the starters.
    ———————–
    You’re not getting it. This is about so much more than just taking a knee. He was disrespectful to the Cuban community when this idiot wore a murderous dictator T-shirt to a presser. Then he doubled down and tried to say that he’d done some good in the Cuban community. Wearing pig socks to training camp? Then you’re called out and you say “I’ve worn them before? What’s the big deal?” Those “pigs” protect his ass from crazy fans while on the road.
    This guy has made his bed. He’s made so many poor decisions I’ve lost count. Poor decision making is a deal breaker for QB’s. That’s why teams have backed off.

  48. ” Multiple teams believed that Colin Kaepernick was still good enough to play after becoming a free agent more than a year ago.”

    This isn’t new. We all knew this as Seattle brought him in as a legit back up for Wilson, but the assumption is Kap wanted too much money. We don’t know for a fact because Kap is evidently unable to speak so nobody knows. We also know that Baltimore had a legit interest and was moving towards signing him in case Flack’s back did not improve, then his psychotic girlfriend spewed out some racist tweet and ended that opportunity.

    Most people know this guy has enough talent to be in the NFL, but the question is whether he is worth the hassle and media “circus” that will follow him. If Kaep would just actually stand up and speak about his plans and expectations he might have a better chance of playing again…if he truly wants to play. Instead he sits mute and enjoys the faux publicity he is receiving for suing the NFL.

    Personally, I really don’t care if he wins this ridiculous collusion case or not as the NFL contributed to this by their initial inaction, but to tell us that some teams viewed him as a possible starter during the offseason last year is not exactly breaking news.

  49. What does it matter if teams viewed him as a starting quarterback? Does that mean they owe him a starting job? What happened to teams having the right to sign or not sign whoever they want?

  50. Three is a guy in my town who is a good mechanic but is so obnoxious his business closed because people would not take their cars to him, was that collusion?

  51. If you don’t get up off your couch and stand for the anthem when you are watching a game at home, you’re a hypocrite.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I don’t think the majority of the games even show the anthem. The first week of the season and the Super Bowl may be the only times that the networks actually show it.

  52. it was NEVER just about one thing and florio knows it…..the combination of a limited number of viable jobs, a limited specific skill set, wanting to be paid like a starter and the baggage = unemployment. He probably fits a half dozen teams and he pissed off a few of those already…..its not colluding when you limited yourself to one or two teams.

  53. Where is the PROOF that ANYONE viewed him as a “starting caliber QB”? You assert this, but proovide not a scintilla of evidence. Geez…………………

  54. evermoresg says:
    May 21, 2018 at 8:34 am
    If you don’t get up off your couch and stand for the anthem when you are watching a game at home, you’re a hypocrite
    /////////////////////////
    Please tell me that this is supposed to be a joking statement. If I don’t stand in front of my couch has nothing to do with me making a spectacle of myself in front of millions of people under the guise of “social protest.” To that end, when I am at home in front of the television, I am not on my employers time, while wearing their brand.

  55. If anyone actually remembers correctly kaep did not lose his starting job to Gabbert, he was recovering from shoulder surgery and missed the entire off season and some of training camp, this Gabbert was further ahead on learning chip kelly’s offense. Also he had an injury clause that gauranteed him around $15 mil if hegor hurt. Restructured that out of his contract and just like magic was the starter the next week. People love to skew the narrative, just like it alienates a large fan base to sign him because they feel he has disrespected “their” country but those same people dont realize the protest itself is about the country disrespecting people of color. Dont ask for respect if you cannot give it yourself and dont claim disrespect as the problem when he is pointing out disrespect with his actions. Also the 2 are not equal as one is just hurt feelings based off blind patriotism while the other is empathy for lost lives without justice. And if you flip that last statement around to use for your counter argument and dont see the hypocrisy that the lack of empathy follows those he stood up for then youre lost in the sauce (which means you dont get it)

  56. Actually, a team legally MAY refuse to hire an individual over a political opinion, although that’s not necessarily the correct characterization of why teams won’t touch Kap. Many here choose to overlook the fact that some colluding is needed if you want to (credibly) whine about collusion.

  57. “That’s what his lawsuit is all about! It’s illegal under the NFL and CBA agreement to hold his protest against him.”

    ——-
    Wrong!!! where’s it stated he has a right to protest during work hours? No employee has that right, now on your own time it’s another thing. What’s really silly is calling, not standing for the anthem, a “protest”, knowing full well he’s protected, let’s see him walk down the streets of Miami with Pro Castro crap on…unlike civil rights activist of the 60’s he’s just a millionaire with a hobby, looking for attention…

  58. It doesn’t make it collusion if it was about more than football issues. It just means there were more than football issues that made teams shy away from him. Same as Ray Rice. Is the reason Ray Rice didn’t get a job collusion? Should he sue?

  59. We’re still talking about this? The Colin Kaepernick situation = The Tim Tebow situation. The quality of play wasn’t/isn’t worth the off-field distraction they create. Tebow’s distraction was caused by his rabid fans constantly calling for him to start over better players, which angered coaches and players. Kaep’s distraction stems from a National Anthem protest he refuses to stop engaging in, which angers fans and causes a loss of revenue to the league. The only difference is Tebow had no control over his loud fan base, while Kaepernick has full control over his situation and chooses not to remediate it. Again, the only winners in this lawsuit are the lawyers.

  60. The idea that Kaepernick brings more unwanted baggage and attention than the likes of players with domestic violence and drug history is what makes this a clown show.

    Those attributing this to the ‘free market’ point of view seem to enjoy making a simple solution out of an insanely emotional and complicated national dialogue.

    Neither side is helping so much as they just want to shout their own piece from either perspective.

    Kaepernick should and will likely win some sort of decision for this collusion against him. At this point I think he needs to continue his efforts in civil rights and become a positive focal point and partner with the NFL. They have a tremendous opportunity to make the best of this situation, but in the end I don’t see it happening.

  61. Proving teams saw him as a starter means absolutely nothing to the case. If they colluded to not hire him it wouldn’t matter if he was a starter or a backup. The fact they’re spending time on that sort of thing demonstrates they have no proof of collusion so they’re just flailing away, trying to make it look like they’re doing something. Kaepernick could end up bankrupted from this lawsuit, still without a job, and the only thing that will have happened is some lawyer will have another vacation home.

  62. Can NFL teams really be legally compelled to give this guy a job? Seems unlikely.

    Kaep’s best bet is a big payday and a job as a NFL correspondent on the next failing “woke” ESPN show.

  63. dwightiam says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:37 am

    The fact that he still won’t guarantee (teams/suitors) that he won’t protest is pretty telling.

    ——————————————–
    IF you think the reason he doesn’t have a job is because of the protest, you are supporting the idea that he’s good enough to play in the league.

    Which is the point of the article in a nut shell.

    I don’t think he has a job because he’s a system QB and it’s a system that few teams have the ability to run. You need to have a very good defense, and not have the need for a quick strike offense. He’s another Tyrod Taylor. He probably is better than half the backups in the league though.

    Being good enough to play in the NFL is NOT going to win the law suit though. There needs to be proof that teams decided not to sign him in agreement with each other and not individual decisions. That’s a tough thing to prove. If a team didn’t want to risk their own fan’s backlash for signing him or he didn’t fit their system, then they have every right to pass without being punished for it. If all the teams got together and agreed not to sign this guy because he hurt the league, then Kaep has legal ground.

  64. qdog112 says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Dan Muston says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:21 am
    Part of winning football games is having a cohesive locker room. Unity.
    ***********************
    Part of a winning American society, is equality across the board. You know,a cohesive population that’s treated the same. UNITY. Protesting is as American as apple pie. It’s a Constitutional right.

    There will be all kinds of reasons brought forth for Kaep’s unemployment. His playing ability is NOT one of them. Documentary evidence will make this case an easy one. The NFL will settle this one.
    ***********************

    I’m not disagreeing with you at all, I treat everyone the same. Not sure why you would think differently, or think anyone doesn’t have a right to protest. How did you come to that conclusion from my post? Which owner would want to risk the possible damage to his team, and/or fan base? I hope someone does pick him up, but they have the right not to pick him up as well. Do you think the NFL should force a team to sign him?

  65. Let’s not mistake why this is happening. It is a simple way of sending a message to all players. Play by our rules or you will no longer have a job and it is working. Michael Vick came back from his dog fighting incident and the league partnered his with Tony Dungy and helped him get a job. In this instance, the league said, NO to Kaep. Now, I don’t agree with the Kneeling before a game, it does nothing to change police brutality which is why Kaep was kneeling and it hurts the owners, with some fans asking for refunds on their sunday ticket or not watching games.

    Now to the fan. I love football like the next person but if what stops you from watching the game is a player kneeling, then you need a better perspective. Our presidents have started wars they shouldn’t and when the soldiers come back, the VA that was supposed to take care of them have abandoned them. There are many vets who are homeless today, and just this morning, on my way to work, I was listening to News Radio and they were discussing how the VA has been kicking people off the caregiver program. This program provides a stipend to the spouses or family member of Vets who the VA are deemed 100% disabled and need round the clock care, since these vets can’t be left alone.

    I don’t see any of you so called patriots care enough about these issues. Huge majority of you folks only seem to pretend to care and that is the reason why Vets losing coverage barely gets a blimp of outrage but football player kneeling, all hell breaks loose.

  66. jeffreyshulenburg says:
    May 21, 2018 at 9:04 am

    What a lot of people dont understand, is that the root of this case isnt about protests or whether a team will hire a player that will protest.

    The underlying issue at work here is that his protest is a political opinion. (if you like it or not) and are the owners refusing to hire someone over political stances, which is illegal. If we turn this around, this is the same as the grocery store declaring that they wont hire people who support the second amendment or google saying they wont hire anyone who registers as republican. You cant discriminate based on political stance, same as race, sex or disability. If he can do the job, and hes more capable than the other candidates, you cant discriminate based on his political views.

    ———————————————

    Wrong. The issue, as it’s been since day 1, is about protesting at work. The employee (Kaepernick) started to protest at work and alienate customers of the business. The business owners (the NFL owner) asked him to stop and he refused, which led to his termination. It’s not about politics or race and never has been. Only the media made it about those things to get people clicking on articles. The employers are 100% within their rights to terminate an employee that negatively affects their income. The employee’s race and political stance are of no consequence.

  67. The fact that 32 independent businessmen decided that paying Kaepernick millions of dollars to represent their team is not good for business is not collusion. It’s not even a coincidence. It’s plain smart business. These 32 people did not get themselves into a financial position of owning an NFL team by making stupid decisions like signing Colin Kaepernick. Bad for business = unemployed.

  68. It is laughable that there are people out there that believe there are no consequences to your actions because “it’s a constitutional right.” My hunch is that these same people are fighting for the repeal of the 2A. If I protest at my job, I get fired. Period. I might even have a hard time finding new employment if prospective employers inquire to my previous employer and find that I was terminated for being disruptive. Just because the constitution says you CAN do it, doesn’t mean there are no repercussions.

  69. What internal documents?

    Was this a case where a scout still thought he was? I have no doubt that there might be some scouts or gm’s out there stupid enough to think he could still be a starting QB.

  70. Teams endure distractions for franchise-changing players – top tier players. The NFL has about 10 starting QBs at any given time who are one bad game from being backup QBs. Teams don’t embrace distractions from those guys. Now if Aaron Rodgers started taking a knee, teams would still be beating down his door to sign him.

    It’s not that Kaepernick isn’t starting caliber. Heck, Tom Savage started games last year. It’s that he isn’t a franchise caliber QB. So on to the next option.

  71. His defenders always ignore the basic fact, he’s at work. Why dont you try doing something disruptive and divisive where you work and see if you stay employed. Also, it gets posted in every paper so any future employers are aware that you are going to cause division, hurt sales by turning away customers and see if you can then find a new job. If your so sure thats your right while on the job, someone should be more then willing to do this. He has the right to go anywhere as a spectator and sit all he wants not while working!

  72. Peyton Manning spent his time off the football field studying game tapes in preparation for his next opponent. Kaepernick appears to have spent his time doing non football related activities. The shelf life of an NFL QB is small, so make the best of what little time there is. If you make it rather obvious to all of your future employers that your focus is on something other than making plays on the football field, those employers will likely look for someone else to fill their vacancy. Even if you really don’t watch game tapes every waking moment like Peyton did, you should at least give the impression you do, because those who write the checks are watching, and dedication to the job or appearance of dedication to the job is and always has been a highly regarded trait. This collusion nonsense is actually laughable. As if any of the owners, GM’s or coaches need some other team to convince them that Kaepernick’s priorities lie elsewhere than in the team’s best interest.

  73. Let’s look at it from strictly a football perspective. Let’s say Brady went down. If the Pats brought in Kaep to run the offense I would not be happy. His ability to read opposing defenses is poor. If his 1st read is not open then his propensity is to take off and run. Opposing defenses have figured him out. I would not be confident that even BB could make a successful run with Kaep at the helm.

  74. It’s crazy how all the journalist forget how terrible Kap was as a player his last two years. He was a better passer his first season in the league than his last.

    Remember how he paid tens of thousands of dollars to Kurt Warner to improve his passing skills? Then went out and threw TWO pick sixes in the first quarter against the Cardinals? He was legitimately a bottom 5 QB when he left the 49ers.

    Add in his distractions that have pissed off fans and it’s very easy to see why teams are not lining up to sign him.

  75. It’s not all about his talents. It’s not all about his protests. It’s about BOTH. The same reasons that companies do background checks, look at your social media, and even in some cases your credit report. When hiring an individual, you need to feel comfortable with everything about the person. Especially if the employer is looking to put a potential employee in the public view. Let’s not get caught up in the polarization.

  76. saintij says:
    May 21, 2018 at 7:37 am
    The excuses some will make to shape an opinion. Just to show ignorance is amazing to me. To be nearsighted is a choice.

    31 5 Rate This

    *****************

    Pretty sure this was a ruse meant to get both sides of the argument to agree with it.

  77. liljpeezy says:
    May 21, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Shouldn’t matter. Owners are the employers, and if they did want Kap, even solely for the fact that he kneeled during the anthems, that is their right.

    Individually yes they have that right..Any collaboration is against the law..You boycotters never seem to keep things in the correct context..

  78. This proves absolutely nothing. In fact, I think it could more prove the opposite of what you’re getting at. What teams view him as a starter? Teams that already have a starter? Hence why they didn’t sign him? Unless they admitted that they viewed him as a starter and wanted to sign him but was told not to, then there’s no collusion. If they viewed him as a starter and decided his protests were too controversial, unless they were told not to sign him, that’s not collusion. This article is grasping and of course there’s a bunch of idiots eating it up.

  79. On March 3, 2017, Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract with the 49ers, an option as part of his restructured contract, therefore making him a free agent at the start of the 2017 league year. -Wikipedia

    So tired of this drama. KAEPERNICK OPTED OUT OF HIS LAST CONTRACT!!!!

    ENOUGH SAID!

  80. Next collusion case pushed by the mass media will be the Kneeling Football League teams not signing MS-13 members.

  81. Pretty sure I remember some teams viewing Brock Osweiler as “a starter” at one point as well. Simply means that is just opinion. Does not equal collusion. Time to disappear.

  82. A black man making some white people uncomfortable when they’d rather think about lighter subjects no matter the venue is what this all boils down to. Be quiet, go away, some other time or never is the sentiment. The lot of these folks posting negatively in the thread would’ve poo pooed Muhammad Ali & MLK during their times and we’d hazard to guess, still do. Keep your head up Kap and more power to ya.

  83. Personally, I’m not bothered by players kneeling the same as I’m not bothered by T.O. being full of himself or Michael Sam being openly gay. However, THE MEDIA is fascinated with this stuff and they circle around team facilities, radio stations and websites like vultures. The media jams these stories down everyone’s throats until everyone is sick of hearing about it.

    The issue for a team becomes the level of play versus the level of distraction/nonsense caused. T.O. was a dominant player, but carried with him a ton of baggage. Michael Sam’s story was bigger than his production. Same can be said for CK. Yes, he has talent. Quite a bit actually. But the extracurricular stuff surrounding Kaep (mostly media created) has and will ultimately keep him out of a job.

    Collusion will be hard to prove without obvious evidence. To me it just looks like he is unemployed for the same reason that Greg Hardy, T.O., Ochocinco, Ray Rice, Josh Brown etc are unemployed. And that’s it.

  84. If being good enough to start for some team was the only criteria, Greg Hardy would have a job in the before Colin Kaepernick. Yet he’s currently eligible to play for any team while no one has offered him a contract (with no claim of collusion). It is possible for each of the thirty-two tams to come to the same conclusion regarding a player.

  85. There were several teams like the Packers for instance who Desperately needed a “Solid” back up Qb and who were OnBoard with the League office with all the “Unity” crap. Rodgers himself said he would’ve welcomed Colin to the Packers yet they didn’t take him-Why? He would have been a major upgrade from the loser they currently had and Everyone Knew it! They passed on him for one reason-$$$$$$$ as the Packers would’ve seen a very Empty Lambeau field had Kaepernick had come onto it and then took a knee during the anthem. The Packers chose the lesser of two evils, keeping the fan base intact over maybe winning in front of an empty stadium.

  86. If Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Wilson, Roethlisberger, or Ryan kneeled during the anthem, do you think they’d be sitting at home looking for a job? No. I’m not saying that Kaep isn’t being “blackballed”. I’m saying that his skills aren’t going to make up for the distractions.

  87. At this point I kind of hope he wins. Then a guy like Ray rice can come in and sue the nfl for collusion as well. If you only make roster decisions based on winning and not off field actions or ideals, then Ray should have been playing. I mean to him, women are equal to me. So he should be justified in punching a woman. It will be great to see the PC crowds heads explode when they realize they opened the door for such a case in the near future if Kaep wins.

  88. jarodtaylor says:
    May 21, 2018 at 3:11 pm
    If Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Wilson, Roethlisberger, or Ryan kneeled during the anthem, do you think they’d be sitting at home looking for a job? No. I’m not saying that Kaep isn’t being “blackballed”. I’m saying that his skills aren’t going to make up for the distractions.
    ___________

    I agree, now tell me which of those guys you would choose to bench in favor of kaep? His team chose gabbert over him before the protests! Would you want gabbert as the starting QB of your team?

  89. This loser totally does not want to work and his whole intention in filing this suit is so that he can have financial means to spend the rest of his life promoting his snowflake agenda. If he wanted to work, he would not have opted out of his contract with SF. If he really wanted to rejoin the NFL,he would have told Seattle that he’d stop with his kneeling nonsense when they asked him if he planned to continue to do so should they sign him. In the real world (aka that cold, dark, place where it is impossible for snowflakes to thrive), any employee with a brain cell understands that they need to follow their employers’ rules and not stir up controversy on work time if they want to keep their jobs. Kaep apparently considers himself too special of a snowflake to man up and take a job if he can get one. He’s much more interested in carrying on like a little drama queen by promoting this nonsensical collusion claim.

  90. At the end of the day we are all arguing with people who know that close to 32 NFL owners did not consider Nick Foles a starter last off-season but for some reason they think those same people must think Kaepernick is a starter?

    Foles was 11-9 in his last 3 season and his resume included the 3rd highest passer rating season in NFL history and these clowns did not want him. Even if you think Kaep is Touchdown Jesus, you really think you can assume these guys do as well with kaep clocking 4 wins and 20 losses in his last 24 games?

    They also think its illegal to not hire someone because they are disgusting on social media.

    Its pretty much realists vs flat-earthers.

  91. The 49ers didn’t. They benched him for Gabbert in 2015.

    After 2015, but before the 2016 season started, he demanded a trade. The Bronco were willing to pay him a back-up salary to be a starting ‘bridge’ QB. But he turned that down.

    Then he couldn’t beat Gabbert out in 2016 and took Gabbert playing himself out of the starting lineup for him to get back on the field.

    In 2017 Shanahan looked at his tape and told Lynch to get rid of him as he’s not capable of running Shanahan’s offense. Lynch had a talk with Kaepernick about that and Kaepernick voided his contract (quit). Though he’d have been cut anyway.

  92. Funny how “trying to win football games” has nothing to do with “team” and team chemistry but everything to do with one very selfish player.

  93. The league should come clean and say, “Colin, if a team needs you they promise they will call you.” Case closed. Everybody go back to work and have a nice day …

  94. If Kaepernick was a potential problem for team unity, then why did his 49er teammates choose him Teammate of the Year for the 2016 season? http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18379314/colin-kaepernick-san-francisco-49ers-voted-teammates-winner-len-eshmont-award

    Looks like he inspired unity rather than sabotaged it.

    Put the best available players on the field (and stand up for the first amendment) and you’re my new favorite team. Until then, I’m not watching.

  95. Has anyone noticed that no companies want Kaepernick associated with their brand? The NFL isn’t the only group staying away from Kaepernick.

  96. “If Kaepernick was a potential problem for team unity, then why did his 49er teammates choose him Teammate of the Year for the 2016 season?”

    Because if they didn’t, they’d be called racists. The award was meaningless.

  97. He effectively retired when he brought suit against the NFL. He can’t prove collusion this is all a grandstand play for attention. He for sure is drinking his girlfriend’s kool-aid and it is poisoning him.

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