Kaepernick’s settlement may not have been as significant as some believe

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

In the immediate aftermath of the announcement that the NFL had settled the collusion grievances filed by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, speculation emerged that Kaepernick and Reid cashed in, significantly. And while no one has yet to blab about the specific amount (it seems inevitable that someone eventually will), there are some indications that Kaepernick and Reid didn’t strike it as rich as some believe.

First, the fact that Kaepernick may continue to seek employment with the NFL — and that he could, if denied employment, file a fresh claim for retaliation arising from his settled collusion grievance — suggests that the payment wasn’t a massive one. Buying out Kaepernick’s employment rights for the balance of his career would have been very expensive; the fact that the NFL didn’t buy out those employment rights, coupled with the potential exposure the NFL will have to a retaliation grievance if he remains unemployed, suggests that an enormous amount of money did not change hands.

Second, per a source with knowledge of the internal procedures that resulted in the settlement, the payments by the NFL to Kaepernick and Reid did not require the approval of team owners. Instead, the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee voted unanimously to approve the settlement, without a vote of the member clubs.

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Third, to the extent that the 1/32nd share of the settlement will be reflected in an eventual financial report of the Green Bay Packers, it’s believed that the impact of the payment will be immaterial to the broader figures reflected in the document.

Fourth, multiple people connected to the league have, without disclosing the number, downplayed the settlement as an amount that will cover the league’s anticipated legal expenses for the duration of the arbitration, with perhaps a bit more. (The anticipated legal expenses weren’t disclosed; chances are those amounts would have been in the seven figures, not in the eight figures.)

Fifth, another source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that speculation that the settlement amount landed in the range of $60 million to $80 million is incorrect.

It’s still possible if not likely that someone with knowledge of the specific payment will leak it. Until that happens, the available information suggests that Kaepernick and Reid ultimately will not be receiving the kind of major payday that some had suggested in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s news that a deal had been reached.

It also means that, in our unofficial setting of the over/under at $49.5 million, the winning bet may be the under.

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