NFL likely hopes to force Kaepernick to put his cards on the table

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In most civil cases involving employment disputes, the employer eventually seeks summary judgment. The goal is both to avoid a trial by jury (since the jury may be influenced by factors other than a strict application of the law to the facts) and to force the employee to put his or her cards on the table, making it easier for the employer to prepare for trial.

In the case of Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the NFL, there’s no jury to avoid. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank, who will decide the summary judgment effort, also will render the verdict, if there’s a full-blown hearing. So the NFL’s obvious goal in seeking summary judgment will be to force Kaepernick and his lawyer, Mark Geragos, to provide a preview of their trial plans by showing how the alleged evidence of collusion meshes with the applicable law to prove that a violation occurred.

Thus, if someone is going to “dime out” the NFL, this would be a good time for it to happen. Likewise, any other smoking gun that Kaepernick and Geragos have tucked into a holster will need to emerge now, if they hope to ensure that the case will go to trial.

Ultimately, it won’t take much to beat the NFL’s motion. The law requires the facts and all reasonable factual inferences to be viewed in the light most favorable to Kaepernick.

And that’s the only potential downside for the league in what is an otherwise nothing-to-lose proposition; as Burbank applies the appropriate standard, he may begin to see the case the way Kaepernick and Geragos see it, allowing Burbank to eventually conclude that, indeed, an unspoken agreement existed to shun Kaepernick due to his decision to protest during the national anthem.

28 responses to “NFL likely hopes to force Kaepernick to put his cards on the table

  1. This guy has surpassed Johnny Football as a guy I would be more than happy to not hear anything of, ever again. And that’s saying something.

  2. They’ll never be able to prove collusion unless there were a paper trail to which they got access. If they had that, we would know about it already. The whole thing is a PR stunt designed to force a settlement.

  3. Unless there is absolutely nothing out there, Burbank will likely hold off on the summary judgment ruling. If he is the judge and jury, why rule on it before trial Let everyone put everything out there and then rule in favor of the league – if that is what he wants to do.

    This is all about strategy as the league wants to know what evidence the other side thinks they have. And, once they have it, figure out whether to try the case or to resolve it.

    Still my guess is that Kap is more interested in the collusion case and the appearance of keeping his “movement” alive rather than actually playing. If he cared about playing he would resign himself to a backup role and tell the team he will not be a distraction. No team wants a 2nd teamer to be a distraction – regardless of whether you think the underlying reasons for the distraction are warranted.

  4. Would love for the judge to say “Next time, if you’re worried about money, don’t opt out of a guaranteed contract worth millions.”

  5. Why do they have to be Kaepernick in the most favorable light? Isnt he the one accusing the nfl? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  6. @sojuu unfortunately in civil cases, it’s not innocent until proven guilty. It’s basically a 50% threshold. Is it more likely than not. Also, for summary judgment, the party that isn’t making the motion(in this case Kap) gets the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to them. That makes summary judgment near impossible to win. As the article states, it’s more to force them to show at least part of their plan.

  7. Personally, I think this a good move.

    It forces part of the case to be shown. Doesn’t matter if they win or don’t win this, there is still an appeal. The critical point is that right now, all that is being shown smoke by Kap’s attorney. They really have no desire or need to take it to a hearing as they can keep talking and promising that something will come up all the while not having anything. It is the ultimate and self-sustaining bluff. If they had much of anything they would be attacking already. So the NFL is making it so that they have to show something or risk losing everything. Also if the NFL is actually innocent, then they have nothing to hide AND would want to see any potential evidence so that they could refute it.

  8. dcviking says:
    July 3, 2018 at 4:48 pm
    Would love for the judge to say “Next time, if you’re worried about money, don’t opt out of a guaranteed contract worth millions.”
    ———————————————–
    They would have cut him anyways, so it’s a moot point.

  9. Stephen Burbank, sounds like he would be “starring” with Bunny La Jolla in the sequel to “Log Jamming”. Where is that “dramatic turn” that Geragos has been promising?

  10. Rumor is Kap has turned down a few offers for backup money. Seems to me that if a single team made Kap an offer then he has no case.

  11. Kaepernick’s lawyer is full of it.
    There was supposed to be evidence already, dramatic turns, people turning on the NFL, etc.

    Put the cards on the table and lets see how phony the suit is

  12. Hey Mike, you are a lawyer. Please explain to me and everyone else how do you believe this case could go to trial. I didn’t go to law school but I know collusion is NOT a crime. It’s a dog and pony show and nothing more.

  13. He’s not claiming a crime. He’s basically saying he was discriminated against in a different way of going at it. But I think he just wants big money. I’m sure he is broke now or close to it. He’s done nothing legit for this so called cause he’s so passionate about. He needs to be shut down. Truth is if he has no proof, declined offers and coaches say he was just washed up and they didn’t need him, the NFL could win summary judgment

  14. How is an unspoken agreement an agreement, did all 32 owners wink and nod at each other. Besides didn’t some teams flirt with the idea to bring Kap in and ultimately determine that a back up with that much drama wouldn’t help a TEAM environment? These guys are professionally run TEAMS, so the fact that they came to a similar conclusion that Kap wasn’t worth the headache and/or money to be a back up isn’t surprising. If there are teams out there with holes in the starting QB position, well Kap has proven he can’t get the starting role done for a good team, why would one think he could turn around a bad team.

    The unspoken agreement wasn’t collusion, it was similar assessments of Kap’s situation. This same situation played out with Jeff George, he had the talent to lead a team but was a complete head case, so he was forced into early retirement. In the NFL, any team is going to take whatever chance they think might lead to them having the slightest advantage, as the gap between SB winner and the Cleveland Browns isn’t that big. Look at the Cowboys and Greg Hardy, the took a huge PR black eye because they thought it would help their defense. He had the talent to make an NFL roster but didn’t because of the cost/benefit factor by each individual team, not an unspoken agreement. Same as with this situation.

  15. As to Kap walking away from a multi-milkion dollar contract ….,

    The comment ‘it’s a moot point, they would have cut him anyway,’is inaccurate.
    He had renegotiated to a players option. It was a 2 year deal, only he could void the second year, which he did.

  16. Unspoken agreement what in the world is that. Is that similar to the vast majority of owners felt the he wasn’t worth the trouble and decided not to sign him.

    greg3117 says:
    July 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    They would have cut him anyways, so it’s a moot point.
    —————————————-
    No it isn’t a moot point. He was not released. Saying they would have released him isn’t the same as being released. So it isn’t a moot point to say the police hating kneeler had a contract and opted out. His case would be better for sure should if they cut him.

  17. Darryl Williams says:
    July 4, 2018 at 10:21 am

    No it isn’t a moot point. He was not released. Saying they would have released him isn’t the same as being released. So it isn’t a moot point to say the police hating kneeler had a contract and opted out. His case would be better for sure should if they cut him.
    _______________________________________

    Lynch explained in no small detail the Niners would have cut Kaepernick had he not opted out. It was covered here at PFT in a way that left little doubt people expounding your narrative are blowing smoke. Why can’t we stick to the truth on this point? The reality that Kaepernick wanted to get his name out there early in FA for the teams that would rush to his door is much funnier than your alt truth. Look for yourself:

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/05/31/john-lynch-49ers-would-have-cut-kaepernick-if-he-hadnt-opted-out/

  18. youbettercallsaul says:

    July 3, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Stephen Burbank, sounds like he would be “starring” with Bunny La Jolla in the sequel to “Log Jamming”. Where is that “dramatic turn” that Geragos has been promising?
    ——————
    How’s Maude? lol

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