When on the same day the AAF says that it discussed a potential football contract with Colin Kaepernick and an unnamed source claims that Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to play for the upstart league, it requires a ball made neither of crystal nor Magic 8 to realize that someone from the AAF leaked Kaepernick’s supposed demands.
The primary suspect would be AAF co-founder Bill Polian, an old-school football guy who would instantly realize the potential value to his league’s relationship with the NFL that would flow from disclosing (and perhaps overstating) Kaepernick’s request.
It’s also possible Polian has the same feelings about Kaepernick as many in the NFL do. Previously, it appears Polian had chosen his words carefully about Kaepernick, while also adroitly parroting some of the hot takes about Kaepernick’s football interest and ability.
“There’s the non-football part and there’s the football part,” Polian told the Chicago Tribune in late September 2017, days after the President’s SOBs tirade made the anthem controversy one of the biggest news stories in the nation. “I talked about it with [former Colts center] Jeff Saturday on the air a while ago. The question was: Would you want Colin Kaepernick as a backup at that time? I said yeah, sure, if I thought I had a chance to win and I thought he was serious about it, I’d be okay with it, while knowing it was an ownership decision.
“Jeff said, basically, ‘I would not. I have to learn a different offense, a different signal system. I have to change my techniques, and I don’t want to do that.’ That’s where it ended. I thought what he said was valid. I’m not sure in the end that it would carry the day with me, but I heard it and I respected it.”
Polian also passed along the views of former 49ers quarterbacks coach Steve Logan to indirectly knock Kaepernick’s skills.
“He talked about all the reasons he cannot be a good quarterback in an NFL offense, how he cannot function as a drop-back passer in a real pro system,” Polian told the Tribune.
Polian never used those words directly, but Polian wouldn’t be passing along those opinions if he disagreed with them. Polian also avoided discussing the non-football issues regarding Kaepernick, explaining that those matters constitute a decision for ownership.
Well, in the AAF he’s now ownership. And even if Kaepernick requested a minimum of $20 million from the AAF, the fact that Polian (or someone else) disclosed it to the chief NFL reporter for the Associated Press suggests that the AAF may be doing whatever it can to help the NFL in the never-ending P.R. battle with the man who has a viable case of collusion pending against it.