The NFL’s Colin Kaepernick dog-and-pony show about nothing was about something, after all.
It was about extinguishing the second lawsuit that Kaepernick could file for ongoing collusion plus retaliation against him for his first grievance that was settled for a payment reportedly between $1 million and $10 million.
That’s the inescapable conclusion from the assertion, as made by Kaepernick’s lawyer and Kaepernick’s agent, that the NFL demanded that he sign a broad waiver, including a waiver of potential employment claims.
Let that one sink in. The league, under the guise of acting out of the goodness of its own heart and/or to assuage the guilt of 32 months of Kaepernick being wrongfully denied an opportunity, set up a workout for all teams (even though any team could work him out at any time) and then, as he showed up for it, asked him to sign a waiver that not only protected the league and the Falcons against a torn ACL or some other injury that could have happened during the workout but also exonerated the league of any and all responsibility for the violations of his rights that may have (have) occurred since he grievance was settled in February.
As a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT, when Kaepernick’s camp suggested a standard injury waiver that didn’t sweep broadly to absolve the NFL from its ongoing violation of his rights, league representatives said that the proposed release had been drafted by NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, and that Pash wanted his release to be signed.
Pash’s name constantly has been mentioned behind the scenes as the person who was believed to have devised this entire scheme. From Kaepernick’s perspective, it wasn’t about Roger Goodell cleansing his conscience, and it wasn’t about Jay-Z repairing his reputation. It was about Pash, recognizing that the failure to buy out Kaepernick’s ongoing employment rights in February coupled with an ongoing cold shoulder created the very real possibility for a second lawsuit that would have taken far more cold hard cash from the league than the first one.
By moving the workout from the Falcons’ facility to a new location, Kaepernick has escaped checkmate, and he has escaped a potential checkmate. If any team representatives who were ready to watch him work out at the Falcons’ facility fails to attend the session at the alternate location, the end result could be legal checkmate for the NFL.
At this point, given the clumsy, awkward manner in which Pash’s scheme has played out, the only way to avoid a second lawsuit from Kaepernick could be to do what should have been done in the first place, if the league truly wanted to help Kaepernick: Pick up the phone and make whatever deal has to be made behind the scenes with one of the NFL’s teams to give the guy a job.