Delayed negotiations over Colin Kaepernick waiver helped derail workout

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Much has been written and said over the past week about the Colin Kaepernick workout waiver. If anything had been written or said last week between the league and Kaepernick’s camp, the concerns regarding the waiver may have been resolved before it was time to launch the workout at the Falcons’ facility.

Last Wednesday, the league sent to Kaepernick’s representatives the waiver that PFT published on Sunday morning — and that was cited by Kaepernick’s camp last Saturday when pulling the plug on the league-organized workout. As PFT and others have said, allowing Kaepernick to sign the release in light of the history between the parties would have been irresponsible at best, malpractice at worst.

Given the unique history between the parties, which has included one multi-million-dollar piece of employment litigation and quite possibly will include another, it became critical for his lawyers to carefully read the waiver and to ensure that nothing in the document would limit or eliminate his ability to file a second grievance for collusion regarding his ongoing lack of legitimate chances with specific teams since the settlement of the first grievance. But it also became critical for his lawyers to immediately engage the league regarding any concerns, given the compressed time frame under which both sides were operating.

Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Kaepernick’s representatives did not communicate specific concerns regarding the potential breadth of the release to the league on Wednesday or Thursday. On Friday, Kaepernick’s representatives told the league that there were minor concerns regarding the release. By Saturday morning, specific complaints about the proposed release still had not been articulated.

Ultimately, they never were. Instead, Kaepernick’s representatives proposed a completely different release, a one-page document that releases the NFL, Hue Jackson, Joe Philbin, and all 32 teams and team representatives from “any and all injury, disability, death, or loss or damage to person or property, whether arising from the negligence of the [released parties] or otherwise.”

Although the league’s refusal to allow Kaepernick to bring his own camera crew did as much or more to derail the league-organized workout, the unresolved waiver issue didn’t help. And because Kaepernick’s representatives never engaged the league’s lawyers for a line-by-line review of the release proposed by the NFL, the concerns were never crystallized between the parties and thus never resolved.

Here’s what should have happened. After getting the release last Wednesday, Kaepernick’s representatives should have immediately contacted the league to express concerns regarding its terms, especially since Kaepernick’s representatives were concerned that the document had been drafted broadly enough to wipe out a second potential collusion case. Revisions, deletions, and/or additions should have been immediately suggested to address the possibility that the document, if signed, potentially would have waived Kaepernick’s ability to file a second collusion grievance for the league’s failure to consider him for employment after the settlement of his first grievance in February 2019.

Kaepernick’s representatives believe that the release was drafted specifically to wipe out Kaepernick’s collusion rights that may have arisen since the settlement of his first collusion case. The NFL believes that the proposed release would not have undermined Kaepernick’s rights unrelated to the workout itself, and that if he had signed it, he would not have waived any right to file a second collusion lawsuit.

The truth is that the NFL’s release is indeed broad enough to raise a red flag, given that the two sides spent months litigating his collusion case, with the Commissioner and multiple owners being compelled to testify under oath. The truth also is that any concerns regarding the NFL’s release should have been addressed right away. Lawyers routinely haggle over the language of documents by exchanging emails or other communications addressing concerns and proposing ideas for addressing them.

If the NFL would have agreed to revise the document to preserve Kaepernick’s potential employment-related claims, problem solved. If the NFL would have refused to make such revisions, the battle lines would have been firmly drawn. Because Kaepernick’s representatives waited too long to engage the NFL on this issue — and because they never presented specific concerns about the league’s release — neither had a chance to occur.

Which means that some will be able to claim that the NFL’s release was a Trojan horse, others will be able to wave around the waiver signed by Kaepernick in 2011 and ask “what’s the difference?,” and that there’s no way to firmly answer the question because Kaepernick’s camp didn’t smoke out the league’s position and motivation by immediately identifying the concerns the waiver raised.

40 responses to “Delayed negotiations over Colin Kaepernick waiver helped derail workout

  1. If they can’t even agree to terms of a workout then how can anyone think the 2 sides could ever agree to any sort of actual player contract. And right or wrong what team would actually sign him knowing how despised he is by most if not all fan bases? This is a circus that no one wants to deal with

  2. dear god, is it any wonder no one wants this guy anywhere near their team.

    He is a constant distraction even when he’s not playing can’t imagine how he’d be once he was under contract.

  3. The fact that Kap’s camp never mentioned the issues until Friday speaks volumes. In fact, it tells you everything you need to know about this situation.

  4. It’s not collusion if 32 teams independently decide not to bring him in. Which is the choice they should make.

  5. To me, this clearly shows he had zero intention of doing the original workout. Also helps explain how he had the alternate workout place all set up with security, etc on such “short” notice. The fact is this was his intention all along to not do the workout and he, not the NFL, was the dishonest broker in this whole thing.

  6. What team would really want to sign him? Clearly divisive, unable to accommodate a simple workout , and looks to make a political statement ahead of everything and everyone

  7. Please stop spending so much time talking about it! The guy hasn’t played for years and obviously doesn’t want to but you love to dig into every aspect of it. People stopped caring about this years ago. The guy simply wants to stay in the news so Nike will keep paying him. Enough already, can we talk about actual NFL players?

  8. Nice try. The workout was always going to be derailed because victimhood pays better for Kaepernick than football ever will for him now.

  9. A long way of saying the original misstep was that Kaep’s camp sat on the contract til 11th hour, and then threw the circus diversion at the high school. They got the doc Wed. They chose not to redline it let alone call out proposed changes til they threw their tantrum / re-location. And people wonder with such aggreived outrage why the benefit does not outweigh the drama with this guy. Simple business decision.

  10. Tim Tebow while not an elite QB, was still one of the best 64 QB’s available at the time. However NFL teams did not want to deal with the fandom circus that came with a guy that would in most cases be holding a clip board. Coaches & owners want players to always be committed to being a football player first. & in the NFL if you’re a constant distraction you will eventually be unemployed, regardless of the reason for the distractions.

  11. His best landing spot is SF.
    No false patriots there, and if JG gets hurt, they’re dead.
    Also,Lap has 2 playoff Victories over the Pack.
    And if he really sucks like everyone says, we’ll all know.

  12. There’s been a lot of lobbying here for Kaepernick to get on a roster. I wonder if those who support CK would sign him if they were a GM??

    Serious question.

    Can you imagine the circus?
    Your job is to put a team on the field and win games. Not play politics and optics games. The national media would descend into your practice facility. Every day would be a press conference answering mostly questions about Kaepernick.
    – When’s he gonna play?
    – Why isnt he playing?
    – What do you think of his political views?

    Kaepernick’s camp would be releasing social media fodder every week….lobbying for him and questioning every move by the head coach.

    If the starter has one bad quarter…the clamoring for Kaepernick would grow louder. Every day…pushing and pushing until he plays.

    And then…if he doesnt play well and a coach dare pull him. The national outcry would be deafening.

    Signing him would be suicide for your locker room…and probably for your career.

    So why?? Why would a GM want to invite this circus into their locker room??

    You could agree with Kaepernick’s views, and still not want to sign him because of the fallout surrounding him.

  13. The NFL had every right to protect itself from another of Kap’s “collusion” lawsuits in the event nobody signed him after his workout. What I don’t understand is how he could potentially sue again since he recieved a settlement

  14. The NFL already knew Kap had a strong arm. He could have answered some of the real questions by at least trying to work out a compromise prior to the workout. If (big if) Kap is really trying to get back in the league, I think he got bad legal advice.

  15. Kaepernick isn’t playing anymore football. He’s better than at least half the starting QB’s right now, but winning football games isn’t the top priority for the 32 owners. Kaepernick knows this better than most, so he’s just playing games with this workout stuff.

  16. Why is there always some kind of a lame excuse for this guy. No one cares and no one sees any benefit for hiring him

  17. His attorneys are either incompetent or they wanted to have a controversy so they could increase their billiing in hopes for a huge payday from the NFL. Anything dealing with that loser, Kaepernick, is destined to stink like 5 day old fish!

  18. “You could agree with Kaepernick’s views, and still not want to sign him because of the fallout surrounding him.”

    If you understand his position you realize it’s more than a view, it’s the truth. So you sign him and start him because it’s the right thing to do. The issues he’s fighting for are more important than winning a football game.

  19. Try auditioning for a job in any other industry while wearing a Kunta Kinte tee shirt and see where that gets you.

  20. The guy hasn’t played in years and is more concerned with minor points with releases than actually working out. Any wonder nobody is interested in him?

  21. cardinealsfan2o says:
    November 23, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    The issues he’s fighting for are more important than winning a football game.

    Why I certainly agree that police brutality is an issue in this country, certainly against poor people- black or white; what exactly is Kap “fighting for”? I don’t see him fighting for anyone other than himself. That ridiculous workout and subsequent speech was all about him, not any cause. he hasn’t articulated anything, and appears incapable of doing so, and NEVER takes any questions. He’s more educated than half of the (real) 60’s era Civil Rights leaders but says nothing of consequence- go listen to Ali’s comments about not going to Vietnam. Agree or not, he articulated his position and took frequent interviews and answered all questions.

    I had no problems with him kneeling, but he was still employed and no one was letting him go at that point- he voided his contract and ramped things up during that time which was really bad advice he was getting from both his GF and that College Professor. Wearing pig socks and a Castro T shirt are not ways a sincere, willing to work person goes about getting a job. The Ravens DID give him a tryout, then his girlfriend Tweeted out the Team owners = Slaveholders comment. That should be offensive to both white and black people. Ray Lewis himself said the Ravens asked him if they should sign him and he said no! He also gave and raised money for a school named after a woman who was a convicted killer, and then cold bloodily executed a State Police officer during an escape, then got asylum in Cuba where she still lives. Frankly any sympathy I may have had for the guy is gone after this latest stunt.

  22. Sjw and circus entertainer mr.f1ori0 got played bigtime by krapernick and his dog and pony show lmao 😂
    Keep on defending that mediocre backup qb. Take it from us niner fans that watched him play every game in his career, he flat out sucks. He had 1 1/2 decent years until the read option got figured out, then He became garbage, and that was the beginning of the end for krapernick. From there on, every year he got worse and worse until he got benched for gabbert twice, then got one more chance and stunk it up losing ten games in a row to end his career and put the final nail in his coffin. He was given a great superbowl team and turned it into a dumpster fire within two years. Krapernick was awful once the read option stopped working. His accuracy and timing was terrible, couldn’t read defenses, misses wide open recievers because he locks on to one reciever then takes off running every time, has poor vision, has terrible pocket presense, has no touch on his passes. The media knows he’s no good, but love him anyways because he’s a sjw, and will keep talking about him pretending like he’s a good qb thats been “blackballed”, when that’s a big lie. He’s out of the NFL because he’s a mediocre bottom tier backup qb that’s become a clown the past three years and brings his media circus everywhere he goes. He already has a job, he’s a full time clown and a professional victim.

  23. It is pretty clear to most at this point that Kaepernick has no desire to play in the NFL anymore but simply wants to preserve the illusion of wanting to play in order to preserve his martyr status. Its delusional to think that he’ll have any further cases for collusion. He’s a 32 year old QB that has been out of the league for three years. In even under normal circumstances it’d be a longshot for him to ever play again and I don’t believe that it is a coincidence that his camp keeps blowing up every potential opportunity that comes along. He’s done, time to move it along.

  24. If the NFL doesn’t want Kaepernick, why does he keep trying to force his way back in?
    It’s like me and my ex… She stopped wanting me years ago, and I’m positive she still doesn’t want me now, so I gave up trying to win her back.

    Take a hint, Bub… If you love to play football, there are other leagues to play in.

  25. I am so confused. The fanboy lawyers say the NFL’s release was fine yet the real attorneys who actually practice law and go to court and stuff say to have had Kaep sign the NFL’s version was malpractice and could have lead to the lawyer’s disbarment. We all know the fanboys are always right, yes?

  26. Lots if fuss over a guy who went 28-30 in his career, completed 59% of his passes, had a turnover for every touchdown. Guy is no better a quarterback than a few dozen other guys who aren’t in the NFL anymore. Difference being, the other few dozen guys would play for the league minimum and Kaepernick thinks he is worth top 5 quarterback pay.

  27. that 4 letter sports network claimed Kap’s team balked at language that indicated the sole purpose of the workout was to help him get a job. Evidently, Kap wanted the workout for a Nike ad instead. The league didn’t dig that

  28. and how many times can he sue the league for the same thing again and again? you’d think language of the first settlement would preclude additional litigation

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