Elway’s Kaepernick comments could be problematic for NFL

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As the NFL tries to show that the collective shunning of Colin Kaepernick didn’t result from collusion, one of the teams at the heart of the before/after anthem protest attitude toward Kaepernick may have made things a bit more difficult.

Broncos G.M. John Elway, who recently opened the door to bringing in a backup quarterback from outside the organization, attempted on Thursday to explain his lingering lack of interest in Kaepernick, a player for whom the Broncos tried to trade in 2016.

Here’s Elway’s full quote, from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media: “Colin had his chance here. We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. So, as I said it in my deposition, I don’t know if I’ll be legally able to say this, but he’s had his chance to be here. He passed it.”

There are two potential problems with this response. One logical, one legal (as Elway seemed to realize while he was uttering the words).

First, here’s what happened in March 2016. The Broncos needed a starting quarterback, after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler (more on him in a second) left via free agency. Kaepernick had a contract that paid him $12 million for the coming season, and it was due to become fully guaranteed on April 1 of that year. So if the Broncos traded for Kaepernick, they would have been saddled with his $12 million salary.

Elway wanted to pay less. Kaepernick didn’t want to take less, and he had no reason to take less. He had undergone a trio of offseason surgical procedures, he wouldn’t have passed a physical before April 1, so he was getting $12 million for 2016, no matter what. Thus, while Elway clearly wanted to trade for Kaepernick, Elway didn’t want to pay Kaepernick as much as Kaepernick could have gotten from the 49ers.

It’s no different than what Osweiler did that same month. Elway wanted to keep Osweiler, Elway offered Osweiler a contract, and Osweiler declined to accept the contract (signing instead with the Texans) because Osweiler wanted more.

And what happened a year later, after Osweiler was unloaded by the Texans to the Browns and later cut by Cleveland? When Elway needed a backup quarterback, did he say, “Brock had his chance here. We offered him a contract. He didn’t take it. So . . . he’s had his chance to be here. He passed it”?

Nope. Elway brought Osweiler back.

Second, when Elway said that he doesn’t know “if I’ll be legally able to say this,” Elway wasn’t talking about any potential illegality arising from the substance of his comments but from the fact that he was commenting on what he said during his sworn deposition in Kaepernick’s collusion case. As lawyer Mark Geragos explained it last month, an order issued by arbitrator Stephen Burbank precludes any public discussion of the collusion case. And it’s clear that Geragos strongly disagrees with the gag order, which means that the NFL wanted the gag order.

So, by making direct reference to his deposition testimony in the Kaepernick collusion case while commenting publicly about the lack of interest in Kaepernick, Elway arguably has violated the terms of the gag order that the NFL wanted to be imposed.

It’s unclear what the consequences could be; it’s not as if Burbank will, or even could, throw Elway in jail for contempt of court or fine him for violating the gag order. As a practical matter, Burbank could take a dimmer view of the NFL’s current effort to knock out the Kaepernick case via the pending motion for summary judgment, and Burbank eventually could look more skeptically at the NFL’s overall defense if there’s a full-blown collusion hearing.

Regardless, Elway’s remarks will do nothing to make the NFL’s case stronger. They easily could make the league’s position weaker.

77 responses to “Elway’s Kaepernick comments could be problematic for NFL

  1. That name Brock always cracks me up. He sounds like a “coworker” of Dirk Diggler or Ron Jeremy.

  2. Brock Osweiler had a chance to be a Bronco when he signed with the Texans too, you brought him back John. Lol….

  3. Bringing back a qb who’s been there before and already knows the players, coaches and systems seems to make more sense than bringing in a guy from outside who’s totally unfamiliar with everything. They aren’t the same thing.

  4. Because Elway spoke earlier this week about possibly finding a backup quarterback not currently on the roster.

  5. You are digging so hard to try and justify Kap.’s position. It is a joke. He wasn’t worth the money. That is it. Where is the collusion case Tebow has for being discriminated against for his faith? Way more legit case.

  6. He threw for 4 yards against the Bears and got benched. Gimmick Qb. Now, you want to force how much money the teams should pay him? Disgraceful. Is he your client?

  7. Yeah Elway brought Brock back for the vet minimum, not the 18 million per. Kinda left that part out huh?

  8. Show me where you HAVE A RIGHT to A JOB and that an employer is OBLIGATED to sign you. Employers have every right to take into consideration your character. And Colon Krappernick has demonstrated he has ZERO.

  9. The media, especially non sports media love to leave out the fact that Kaepernick was offered a contract 2 years ago. People who aren’t informed or want to mislead just act like he was cut. He wanted too much money, thought he should make more , and is now lying in the bed he made. Not sure why these comments are problematic if they are fact.

  10. “Elway wanted to pay less. Kaepernick didn’t want to take less, and he had no reason to take less.”
    And there is the flaw in your argument. Of course he had a reason to take less: The opportunity to go to very comeptetive team; the “bet on yourself” for a year to prove your worth and cash in; an actual desire to play the game…
    He chose to do his own thing. That’s fine, but then shut up about the league not being fair!

  11. You wish it’d be problematic for the NFL. Kaepernick drama is probably good for hundreds of thousands of clicks you’d otherwise not get.

    Fact is Kaepernick had a job and quit. He turned a trade because Elway didn’t think he was worth what he was getting paid and refused to take a paycut. Stupid him.

  12. Let me see if I understand this.

    Cap claims no one would sign him. Now we have a GM saying he tried but the contract was declined by cap and you think this is a problem for the NFL?

    Maybe you should Atleast attempt to be unbiased.

  13. How does this really hurt the NFL? Bronco’s were willing to trade for Krappynick, but didn’t want to pay him his full contract because of his injuries – makes sense to me. Krappynick chose to decline the trade – dumb on his part, just like opting out of his contract. Denver needed a QB, Brock was available and a former Bronco, he knows the coaches, he knows the system. Makes sense to bring him back. All this proves is that Krappynick had chances, but he alone blew it.

  14. silverandblack052099 says:
    August 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    Oswieler was brought back for the league minimum. Kaepernick still wants 16 million a year. You conveniently left that out of your rant.
    —-
    silverandblack052099 do you have a link to this story, becuase i’ve never heard of this..He goes from making 12M to wanting 16M after being out of league? I’m calling fake news but am willingto be corrected with proper info …

  15. Kaep didnt stunk it up in 2016. Sure he wasnt a top tier QB.. but he wasnt on the bottom. he was a top 20 QB in the league and was playing for the crappiest team in the NFL that year. NO OL, no D, no WR’s.. it was a horrible team. I dare you to check out his stats and compare them to any Bronco QB in 2016-2017

  16. Broncos wasted a great defense for a couple years because Broncos colluded and didnt sign Kaep. If you were willing to pay him 7 mil one year and next year you could of got him for 1 mil, but instead got Brock, you deserve to lose. Hope Broncos lose every year Elway is GM. BTW Brock is available to be signed Elway lol.

  17. Spot on. Keenum hasn’t looked good so far and might just be one year wonder. Broncos might have lucked into a good QB in Kelly though. Elway hasn’t been a very good GM IMO.

  18. Yep, the fact he brought back the totally inept Osweiller yet continues to exclude Kaepernick is pretty damning. Kaepernick is actually a decent starter. Osweiller is not even a decent bench warmer.

    But, Elway obviously is a very poor judge of QB talent anyway. It’s going to keep hurting the Broncos as long as they keep Elway in control. That’s too bad because with a decent QB they could be contenders.

  19. It’s not a problem for the NFL.

    It’s a problem for Kaepernick and Florio’s collusion narrative.

    In reality, Kaepernick had an opportunity to go to the Broncos. He ultimately didn’t want to. That’s on him.

    In life, if you spurn someone, that’s a legitimate reason not to offer them an opportunity again.

    It’s not collusion. It’s called a burnt bridge.

    Meanwhile, it is also a different coach and system, thus even if Elway wanted on the surface to, it just might not fit.

    It doesn’t matter about ‘similar circumstances’. Especially when Osweiler is a guy he’s actually employed. He knows the guy. He’s a guy who was getting offers, and got a HUGE offer.

    Kaepernick? He was just a guy about to be riding the bench on another team. Elway offered to give him a fresh start, and he spurned him.

    Beggars trying to be choosers is a much different scenario than a guy who is a free agent IN DEMAND who wants more money.

    Kaepernick and Osweiler are completely different scenarios.

  20. The difference is.. they offered Osweiler a contract, and he took it.

    Kaepernick wants to make 8 figures, after being out of the game for years, and after having been on the decline anyway.

    Per Elway, Kaepernick declined an offer. That, if anything, should help dispel any collusion claims.

  21. The real stupid people are the ones who never stop running their mouths about him opting out of his contract with SF as if they weren’t going to cut him if he didn’t. I understand it fits your narrative and that’s why you do it but please get a clue

  22. Why doesn’t NE sign CK? They need a QB, and BB always takes in ingrates and malcontents.

  23. It still makes no sense to me why Kaepernick hasn’t moved to Caracas or Havana already. He has wonderful Socialist country with beautiful weather not too far away and yet he persists in fomenting strife in this country. Vote with your feet ye lover of Che Guevara!

  24. “……then Kaepernick played in 2016 and stunk it up.”

    Except he didn’t. He had 16 TDs and only 4 INTs with an absolutely horrible roster of offensive players around him. He didn’t play great but he played competently.

    You don’t like him that’s fine, nothing says anybody has to, but he didn’t stink either.

  25. Can we stop with the Colin Kaepernick stunk it up crap. In 2016 his QBR was ahead of Wentz, Tannehill, E Manning, Newton, Bortles, Fitzpatrick and Keenum all starters in this league. His passing numbers were ahead of 5 QBs presently starting. Don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

  26. ” Kaepernick didn’t want to take less, and he had no reason to take less. He had undergone a trio of offseason surgical procedures, he wouldn’t have passed a physical before April 1, so he was getting $12 million for 2016, no matter what”
    ________________________________________________________________________________
    Then what is his issue? He actually could have taken less for a contract longer than one year. What you wrote there is not accurate, Sir.

  27. Mike Florio says:
    August 16, 2018 at 4:40 pm
    Kaepernick wants $16 million? Why not just shout “fake news” and move on?
    ————————————

    The key words here are “Kaepernick” and “move on”.

  28. Someone should tell Kenny Stills and the other anthem kneelers that Kap was offered a contract and turned it down. Kap’s own fault he is not playing in the NFL.

  29. Can’t wait to see the confusion and disgust on social justice warriors faces when he loses this grievance

  30. Kaepernick wanted more money but he isn’t worth it. Oswiller got a job because someone else was paying his salary. Economics is not collusion.

  31. There is certainly more to a conversation and negotiations than “here’s our offer” and “I politely decline.” Perhaps one side or the other said something a little more bold that hurt the others feelings. With these 2 individuals, that seems likely.
    Perhaps also when Brock O left, it was on good terms. If no bridges are burned, it’s bot uncommon for ex employees to return to their former jobs.

  32. Even with a loaded offensive line and a loaded receiving corps…

    … kaepernick never had a 4000 yard season.

    59% CAREER completion percentage in comfortable,
    warm weather, stable weather San Francisco.

  33. Elway wanted to pay less. Kaepernick didn’t want to take less, and he had no reason to take less.
    =================================================

    The lengths you go to defend this guy is actually sad.

  34. Osweiller and Kap can’t be compared here when Elway signed Osweiller for $750,000 last year. I’m assuming that Kap wouldn’t sign for that due to his ego.

  35. “Kaepernick didn’t want to take less, and he had no reason to take less.”
    How about the guys that bet on themselves every year with one year contracts for less money?
    While it’s not exactly the same scenario, Kaepernick had a chance to make less money but be given an opportunity to PLAY and prove himself with a better team and better defense. He chose not to bet on himself and now Florio and a lot of others are out there making excuses for him while blaming everybody else.

  36. The reason that the Broncos resigned Brock and not Kap isn’t the money amount. It’s the point that they offered Brock a contract and not Kap when they both spurned the previous contract offers, which makes Elway’s statement hypocritical. This doesn’t prove collusion on any point as that would need proof of multiple teams avoiding Kap, but it does demonstrate that the Broncos avoided Kap under circumstances that they didn’t with Brock. I’m not sure many of the anti-Kap crowd actually read the entire article at all, or maybe just didn’t understand it.

  37. I’m confused. I was certain low-life Trump supporters were going to stop watching football. Also, since they believe NBC Sports Talk is pushing a liberal agenda, they have no reason to read / post here. My suggestion to Trump supporters – go watch Hannity or read Trump’s latest tweet and then parrot whatever they say.

  38. whatever, you obviously have a bone to pick with the NFL, any normal person would read this and see that teams wanted Kapernick they just didnt want to pay him crazy money because he wasn’t consistently good. he had his moments but he would also go off script all too often. Seattle offered him a contract as well. Kap would rather sue for his money then work for it. He’s pathetic.

  39. God bless you Duke (Elway’s nickname for the youngsters out there). We true Broncos supporters don’t want a communist signal-caller anyway. Chad Kelly looks like the future.

  40. The premise of this article is terrible. First, Elway responded to a legitimate question on whether he would consider signing Kap – the answer is NO. Secondly, there is no parallel to Osweiller’s signing. Kap was not healthy, was not worth his sizable contract and Elway had every right to ask for a pay cut as he had lost weight and couldn’t even throw – if he had signed, it would have been a risk. This also has no bearing on our current situation. Just as Elway said, he had his chance, he passed, we’ve moved on – period! Lastly, I highly doubt this is problematic for Elway or the NFL with the current legal argument. This statement has not bearing on collusion or no collusion. It is a straight forward factual comment by Elway. Would the NFL prefer the questions to go away, the obvious answer is yes. Whether Elway violated a gag order on his testimony (which would have included significantly more detail than Elway’s comments here), I highly doubt it.

  41. The point is he was given a contract offer which was refused. This fact alone should blow a hole in the collusion case. Regardless of what starting qbs are making or even backups, an individual players salary is determined on their value to the prospective team. why was he offered less or not at all? Probably because a year later the issue persisted and grew causing more of a distraction a reduction in ratings and a reduction in team revenue. He is bad for business simple. Maybe he should have rethought the whole pigs socks thing during his “classy” protest.

  42. So he wanted to sign him then.. And doesn’t want to sign him now. HMMMM…. Don’t know. Let’s see, does he want to sign Brady Quinn or Jamarcus Russell or Tebow. No! Why? It must be collusion. BAAAAhahahahaha

  43. Here’s where your argument falls down:

    Elway does not equal the entire NFL!!

    Elway saying the Broncos didn’t want Kaepernick does NOT prove league-wide collusion, in ANY logical way!!! It only proves that the BRONCOS didn’t want him. What is your problem with that?!?!?!?

  44. jimbo75025 says:
    August 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    ……then Kaepernick played in 2016 and stunk it up.

    Case closed.
    ———-
    16 TD 4 INT’s NFL QB rating 90.7 59.2 completion % ran for another 468 yards 2 TD (also fumbled 3 times.)

    I’m not fan of Kaep but he didn’t stink it up. Those are not HOF numbers but they are top 10 to 12 QB numbers. The protest is why he’s not been playing. If you can’t be honest with yourself then you just are not an honest person. You don’t have to like him.

  45. factschecker says:
    August 17, 2018 at 8:55 am
    jimbo75025 says:
    August 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    ……then Kaepernick played in 2016 and stunk it up.

    Case closed.
    ———-
    16 TD 4 INT’s NFL QB rating 90.7 59.2 completion % ran for another 468 yards 2 TD (also fumbled 3 times.)

    I’m not fan of Kaep but he didn’t stink it up. Those are not HOF numbers but they are top 10 to 12 QB numbers. The protest is why he’s not been playing. If you can’t be honest with yourself then you just are not an honest person. You don’t have to like him.
    _________________________________________________________________

    I look at the stats and see a 1-10 record as a starter. I see 186 passing yds/game. Sub-60% rate does not cut it in today’s NFL, bub. Period.

    I see a starting QB who was shut down by his coaches after week 12 and never brought back, despite the fact that his replacement was no better.

    Now if you can’t be honest with yourself about what really happened that year in SF, maybe you shouldn’t be commenting about this topic.

  46. Mr. Wright 212 says:
    August 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm
    Look at these lemmings try long and hard to justify this.

    ALL because they don’t want non-Whites to have equal rights as them.

    Sickening.
    _____________________________

    LOL. Buddy, if we didn’t “want non-whites to have equal rights,” it would look a LOT different than this complete joke of a 3-ring circus.

    You’re not that important. Get over your own skin color. We whites couldn’t care less about it.

    Now, you want to be a communist, call us racists when you have no clue who we are (like you’re doing right now), and disrespect the nation we and our ancestors have proudly built?? Then yeah, buddy, you’re going to catch a whole ration of trash coming your way. So swim in it and enjoy the fruits of your own hatred.

  47. Elway has always been a far right wing elitist snob. Despite his QB status, Elway also has always been one of those drunks whose eyes nearly cross and who gets loud and obscene when drunk.

    Now, Elway might have helped Kaepernick prove his NFL collusion case. Ooooops! Johnny Big Mouth blew it big time.

  48. He’ll never play another game in the NFL. Go to Canada and battle other fock ups lie Johnny Manzeil

  49. Perfect example of keeping out pertinent facts. Yes Elway brought Osweiler back, but he singed him for the NFL minimum AND the Texans way overpaid for Osweiler with his contract.

    Thank you for proving to everyone it’s not about the facts. It’s about the story you want people to believe.

  50. you said:
    RedBlooded says:
    August 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm
    Kaep didnt stunk it up in 2016. Sure he wasnt a top tier QB.. but he wasnt on the bottom. he was a top 20 QB in the league and was playing for the crappiest team in the NFL that year. NO OL, no D, no WR’s.. it was a horrible team. I dare you to check out his stats and compare them to any Bronco QB in 2016-2017

    You do realize how pointless your argument is right? The Broncos wanted to trade for him, he said no!

    He chose too play for the team with as you put it: “NO OL, no D, no WR’s.. it was a horrible team.” Whatever happened he CHOSE it. If you remember correctly, he chose a”bad team” over a team that had just won a Super Bowl.

    He had the right to make any decision he wanted. Denver had the right to offer what they thought he was worth.
    Those decisions led us to where we are. Kaepernick chose this path and Denver ended up with Keenum.

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