Colin Kaepernick case brings tryout waivers into focus

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The Colin Kaepernick saga has inadvertently shed light on a subject that has previously been overlooked.

The waiver presented to, and rejected by, Kaepernick prompted reports and takes suggesting that Kaepernick should have signed the waiver because it was essentially the same as the waiver that would be signed by a free agent who reports to a team facility for a normal tryout, which has yet to happen in more than 32 months of Kaepernick’s time as a free agent. PFT obtained one team’s waiver, and it was obvious that a standard tryout waiver does not attempt to secure a broad release of any and all claims directly or indirectly to the workout, as Kaepernick’s was.

It also has become obvious that different teams use different waivers. Most recently, Howard Bryant of ESPN posted the waiver used by the Bears.

In attempting to obtain these waivers, another dynamic has become obvious: The players typically sign the waivers and proceed, without even informing their agents that they were asked to sign a document limiting their legal rights.

Multiple agents told PFT this week that they weren’t even aware of the practice of players signing tryout waivers. They are now, and it raises important questions regarding the language that could be snuck into the waivers — and whether an effort should be undertaken to standardize the waivers with preapproved language that all teams use.

10 responses to “Colin Kaepernick case brings tryout waivers into focus

  1. So…. That employment clause is right there in Da Bearss’ waiver. I presume the NFL was attempting to cover every clause of every team in its attempt.

  2. Wait…. Kap’s legal team wanted to remove the phrase “for purpose of Player’s consideration for prospective employment by NFL clubs”??? Pretty much shouting from the rooftop that he wanted to workout for anything but prospective employment.

  3. So agents weren’t aware that their players were signing tryout waivers? That’s interesting, especially as now they are aware which may or may not result in some back and forth between agents and teams when it comes to these try out waivers with teams.

    And we’re all only aware of this because of the NFL HQ unnecessarily started this mess to begin with. Remember, they set up this “workout” without even informing any of the 32 teams to begin with. From the random wheel of fines, to the PI replay being a failure, to the additional rules making the game convoluted, to this entire circus, etc. I honestly believe that the people of 345 Park Ave can’t get anything right.

  4. No way NFLPA-certified agents weren’t aware players were routinely having to sign waivers. (And even if some weren’t what agent would actually admit to being that clueless?)

  5. You can’t use a standard waiver because Kaepernick isn’t a standard workout player. You need a special Lawsuit-prone Publicity Hound version.

  6. The tweet didn’t have the 2nd page of Kaep’s waiver, with paragraph #7. That’s the one that the issue.

    If you haven’t read that 2nd page, go read it before reaching any conclusions.

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