Standard tryout waiver is much more narrow than the waiver the NFL sent to Colin Kaepernick

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The 32-month Colin Kaepernick unemployment has resulted in plenty of false narratives. And there’s a new one that has emerged in the aftermath of Saturday’s aborted workout at the Falcons’ facility.

It goes like this: “The waiver that Kaepernick was asked to sign on Saturday is essentially the same one he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season.”

On Sunday, PFT obtained the waiver that the league wanted Kaepernick to sign. On Monday, PFT obtained one of the same ones he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season.

They are very different.

The Kaepernick waiver can be seen here. On Sunday, it was analyzed here. The waiver he’d have to sign to work out for a team during the season contains language much more narrow and much more focused on injuries that could be sustained during the workout, with no acknowledgement that “Player acknowledges that he has been made no promise of employment, and understands that his participation in the Workout does not constitute employment” and no general waiver of “any and all claims . . . caused by, arising out of, occurring during, or related directly or indirectly to the Workout, Player’s presence at the Facility, and any medical treatment or services rendered in connection with or necessitated by Player’s participation in the Workout.”

The waiver obtained by PFT from an NFL team fits on only one page, and it focuses only on liability arising from injuries occuring while on the team’s premises and/or during the workout. The document also contains an acknowledgement of the risks and hazards of trying out for a professional football team, and an express assumption of the risk of engaging in the tryout on the team’s premises.

There’s nothing about the workout not constituting employment, and there’s no broad waiver of claims “related directly or indirectly” to the workout.

It’s possible that other teams use waivers with broader language. But to the extent that anyone is pushing to members of the media the idea that the waiver Kaepernick was asked to sign is essentially the same as the waiver he’d have to sign if/when a team actually gives him a workout at the team’s facility, that’s simply not the case.

It’s important here because of the history of litigation between the two sides, and regarding the possibility for more litigation, if Kaepernick continues to be shunned and if he believes that a formal grievance would yield sufficient evidence that collusion continues after the settlement of his first collusion claim in February 2019. As mentioned yesterday, it would arguably constitute malpractice for a lawyer to allow the client to sign the release that was presented to Kaepernick, given the past legal battle between Kaepernick and the league.

44 responses to “Standard tryout waiver is much more narrow than the waiver the NFL sent to Colin Kaepernick

  1. Colin has one card to play, the threat of a suit for collusion continuing to happen after the settlement. The NFL was basically telling him to surrender that card for a half-baked tryout with no team decision makers present. Any lawyer advising him to sign that agreement would be guilty of malpractice. The NFL tried to give the impression it was the same waiver every prospect signs. That obviously is not true and read the language of their statement it is a waiver “based on” the waiver every prospect signs. The NFL called him for the workout, so what was their motivation? The only ones you can imagine were PR and neutralizing future litigation.

    Colin stood his ground like him or not, I respect that.

  2. The oddest part was them not wanting his people to be able to videotape the event. That serves no purpose and would be sure to make him suspicious. They also scheduled it for a day that all but assured no top personnel people would attend. It all comes across like it was a publicity stunt where their entire goal was to look good for having made the offer and then be able to blame Kaepernick for having backed out.

  3. footballpat says:
    November 18, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    Colin has one card to play, the threat of a suit for collusion continuing to happen after the settlement. The NFL was basically telling him to surrender that card for a half-baked tryout with no team decision makers present. Any lawyer advising him to sign that agreement would be guilty of malpractice. The NFL tried to give the impression it was the same waiver every prospect signs. That obviously is not true and read the language of their statement it is a waiver “based on” the waiver every prospect signs. The NFL called him for the workout, so what was their motivation? The only ones you can imagine were PR and neutralizing future litigation.

    Colin stood his ground like him or not, I respect that.
    ————————————
    He had one last shot at getting back in to the NFL and made a Fool of himself. I DON’T respect that.

    Go Hawks!

  4. Called a rock and a hard place. He put himself there.

    He had 6 directions to go in and he took the path that lead here. He gets to be a footnote in football history. And less money.

    When was the last time he went and did charity work or is he like most of those who do it without the need for the pat on the back? I thought so…

    I think he’s just not that intelligent.

  5. But is the waiver different than the waiver players have to sign at the combine? Cause this was an event held by the league, same as the combine, not an tryout held by a single team!

  6. When was the waiver presented to CK and his legal teams? Because my impression is that they waited until the last minute.
    Language on a waiver gets negotiated and modified all the time. This is what lawyers are for.
    However you do not wait until an hour before the tryout before proposing a completely different waiver.
    Unless you never wanted to do the tryout to begin with.

  7. Everyone hates Roger Goodell and the NFL league offices … until it’s Kaepernick on the other side. I actually don’t care, though some consistency would be nice.

  8. My favorite part of all of this is how it reveals the biases at work. Even if you disagree with Kaep, you have to admit it’s a bad look for the NFL. Yet, so many people are clearly so against him that anything that involves him he’s automatically the bad guy. Even so far as to ignore the fact that the NFL brought this up out of the blue and clearly strong armed him the way it did. Why did it have to be this weekend? Why couldn’t it wait until a better time when more teams could send their high up personnel? Why was he given 2 hours to say yes or no? These are all questions an unbiased person would ask.

  9. Didn’t the NFL claim it was the standard COMBINE waiver, not individual team waiver? Is there a difference between those two?

  10. Could the difference be that the workout was organized by the NFL and not an individual team? Since the workout was organized by the NFL and not an individual team, they may have to list additional term in the waiver, because they can’t force a team to sign him. I don’t know, but from what i’ve Read/heard, this is unpresidented, so there isn’t much to compare it to other than a standard tryout for a particular team.

  11. I, personally, am so sick of hearing about this guy. He show’s up and changes the venue at the last minute. Wears a shirt that says Kunta Kinte. Someone somewhere needs to open his eyes to the fact that if you’re a multi millionaire and have never wanted for a thing in your life you do NOT qualify as a slave. It’s time for him to poop or get off the pot. Please for the love of all that is holy can we just quit talking about this entitled idiot. Rant over.

  12. Don’t get me wrong, if the league office can find a way to mess something up, they always do. That being said, given the history of the relationship they’ve had with Kaepernick since he opted out of his 49ers contract, I don’t blame them for wanting to emphasize the fact that a workout is not promise of employment. Kaep’s got celebrity counsel Mark Geragos as his lawyer– take a look at his history and decide what you think of that.

  13. I’m tired of the “low level team representatives” narrative that keeps being pushed.
    CK claims the big team people don’t want him for purely non-football reasons. If true, why would it matter if they see him in person, or even how good he is? If teams are open-minded AND he’s a good player, it won’t matter what level scout is there.

    There is also a third option: Teams ARE open-minded but he isn’t skilled enough to balance what he will cost in distraction or what he wants to be paid.

    I think #3 is about as close to reality as one can get, but you can’t get an article a week out of it.

  14. Being given a roster spot for an NFL team: not guaranteed.
    A lawsuit from Kaepernick if he gets hurt during the SPECIAL workout or doesn’t receive a contract paying more than he’s worth to sit the bench and cause drama as a result of the SPECIAL workout: better believe it’s guaranteed

  15. It still bothers me that Matt Flynn isn’t in the league. Average at best with a few terrific games, I know, but I can’t believe he’s being shunned the way he is. I’ve seen teams sign talented guys with pending domestic assault charge. They must be avoiding Flynn because he’s average. At best.

  16. It’s still shocking to me how many people take the side of the NFL owners over a player. I’ll take the underdog with a cause larger than himself.

  17. So the guy who’s out for a money grab has paperwork to sign to protect the league from him trying to money grab?
    And it was a workout, not even a try out which constitutes an interview. This wasn’t even that. Why would they need to acknowledge that this doesn’t guarantee employment.

  18. Confirmation that Pash was right in the middle of this one too. Same guy that refused to acknowledge publicly that false information had been published at the outset of Deflategate. Same guy in the shadows nearly every time Roger Dodger needs someone to manipulate the truth to serve his purpose….

  19. When is this jack wagon gonna understand…….it’s not the NFL he should be fighting……the NFL can’t force an owner to sign him !!!
    Anybody with an ounce of sense knows this loud mouth is never gonna play in the NFL again……smh

  20. It’s still shocking to me how many people take the side of the NFL owners over a player. I’ll take the underdog with a cause larger than himself.

    cause larger than himself – Yea too bad that cause is a media hyped lie. The numbers of the statistics dont match Colin’s claim and the cause of his protest. Go look at the numbers yourself. dont you hate when facts dont support the narrative you want to belive. And sadly even the examples the media play day after day are flawed. Lets not forget the lies and intentional video editing they do to make the story look more of the way they wanted it to look. Never mind the truth.

    take the side of the NFL owners – Businesses are allowed to expect that its employees will not hold protests while at work. If the people that buy my product are offended by said protest and stop buying my product that creates a problem. I know in liberal fantasy camp (the rest of us call real life) businesses dont have to make profits and concern themselves with future growth. Or potential lost profits due to an offended fan base. So yea I support the owners righ to expect the best for their businesses. Especially when Colin is free to protest as the rest of us are in our free time. My employee would tell me to stop protesting if protesting at work offended the people the want to do business with.

  21. Gee, it’s almost as if the whole thing WASN’T about trying to get Kaepernick a chance to get a job.

    How odd!

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