The settlement amount that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and ex-teammate Eric Reid reaped from their collusion lawsuit against the National Football League may be far less than previously reported.
The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources familiar with the settlement, said Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid’s settlement with the league on collusion charges amounts to less than $10 million total. Previous reports said Kaepernick received between $60 million and $80 million, but the formula to calculate that amount appears to be flawed and likely highly exaggerated.
Kaepernick filed a 2017 grievance alleging that NFL owners were colluding against signing him. He had declined an option on his 2016 contract with the 49ers and became a free agent, but was not signed by any other team.
Many blamed his kneeling during the national anthem as the reason for the shunning, but others claimed his performance had declined. Reid joined in the protests and the lawsuit and was out of the league until signing last year with the Panthers. He has since signed a multi-year deal with that club and continues to protest during the anthem.
To prove collusion, Kaepernick and Reid faced a steep legal burden, having to prove that clubs, their employees or agents had “entered into an agreement” to restrict or limit whether to offer them a contract under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Kaepernick atttorney Mark Geragos said his client “absolutely wants to play” in the league, but the prospect seems dim, as quarterback-needy teams continue to pass on trying him out.