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Monday, February 18, 2019

Football

Report: NFL officials believe Colin Kaepernick settlement was in $60-$80 million range

Colin Kaepernick

The biggest question many had after learning of Colin Kaepernick’s settlement with the NFL was what the league gave him to put the entire thing behind them. While we still don’t know for sure, we appear to have our first guess.

According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, NFL officials believe the league paid out something between $60 million and $80 million as part of the settlement.

We may never know for sure, as a confidentiality agreement is part of the settlement, which was announced Friday. It’s also possible that there were other non-financial stipulations either side agreed to. That said, if these numbers are correct, it’s a pretty clear signal that the NFL really didn’t want to go to discovery. If they weren’t scared of losing the case, they were, at minimum, clearly concerned that damaging or embarrassing revelations could be made public as proceedings continued.

The big question is what Kaepernick’s incentive was to settle. Obviously his financial payout may have been huge, but he may have had a chance to win his case, or at least shed some light on some of the league practices he seemed interested in exposing. With the confidentiality agreement, the latter will not happen now.

Colin Kaepernick, NFL announce settlement in collusion case

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has settled his collusion case with the NFL.

Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos announced on Friday in a statement that the two sides resolved the matter.

The league issued a similar statement.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

Mr. Reid is a reference to Eric Reid, the safety for the Carolina Panthers who also joined the collusion suit against the league.

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson notes that there was talk from a source previously that Kaepernick would only withdraw his suit if there was a lucrative settlement.

It’s hard to view this as anything other than disappointing from Kaepernick’s party. His whole stance of standing up for social injustice and racial inequality seemed to be at the cost of his earnings. Why would he agree to a confidential settlement now rather than let the truth come out? It seems that would better serve society, and now those who wanted to know the truth won’t get those answers.

Antonio Brown reportedly agrees to meet with Steelers owner

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown publicly said farewell to Pittsburgh Steelers fans on social media earlier this week, but there seems to be at least a small chance he could remain with the team in 2019.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Friday that Steelers owner Art Rooney II has been hoping to meet with Brown in an attempt to clear the air. While Rooney initially had no luck getting Brown to agree to have a conversation, the star wide receiver is now apparently planning to sit down with him.

While that does not necessarily mean Brown and the Steelers will be able to smooth things over, it is certainly a start.

Some comments Rooney made earlier this offseason seemed to indicate he did not want Brown back in 2019, but those were made immediately after Brown went AWOL on the team in the final week of the season. Things may have changed with the parties having time to cool down.

If nothing else, the Steelers don’t want to appear desperate to trade Brown. That decreases the Pro Bowler’s value, as interested teams know it is only a matter of time before Pittsburgh is forced to pull the trigger on a deal. Things can change in a hurry in the NFL, but Las Vegas odds on where Brown is likely to end up at the start of the 2019 season say an awful lot. Brown could just be taking the meeting with Rooney out of respect for the owner.

Steelers owner reportedly wants to meet with Antonio Brown to clear air

Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown made it clear earlier this week that he has no intention of playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season, but the team may not be giving up hope that the ugly situation can be sorted out.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Steelers owner Art Rooney II has been hoping to meet with Brown at some point in an attempt to clear the air. However, the star wide receiver has not shown a willingness to have such a conversation.

Brown remains under contract with the Steelers, but he wants to be traded. While Rooney all but confirmed earlier this offseason that it would be difficult to envision Brown remaining in Pittsburgh next season, it appears he has changed his mind.

If nothing else, the Steelers don’t want to appear desperate to trade Brown. That decreases the Pro Bowler’s value, as interested teams know it is only a matter of time before Pittsburgh is forced to pull the trigger on a deal. Things can change in a hurry in the NFL, but Las Vegas odds on where Brown is likely to end up at the start of the 2019 season say an awful lot. Brown seems like he has made up his mind.

LB Brandon Marshall cracks funny joke after parting ways with Broncos

Brandon Marshall Broncos

The Denver Broncos notified linebacker Brandon Marshall on Friday that they will not be exercising his contract option for 2019, meaning he will become a free agent when the new league year begins next month. The 29-year-old should have no problem finding work, especially if he is willing to play on defense and offense.

Marshall, of course, shares the same name with veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall. After word surfaced that the Broncos are not bringing him back, linebacker Brandon took to Twitter to ask if any teams are in need of a receiver.

He was joking, of course. As you might expect, that is hardly the first time the two Brandon Marshalls have been confused for one another.

Marshall appeared in 11 games over two of the past three seasons because of injuries, but he has been a productive player when healthy. He has also been very outspoken about national anthem protests, so it will be interesting to see if that impacts his free agency at all the way it did with defensive back Eric Reid last offseason.

Report: Colin Kaepernick wanted more than $20 million to play in AAF

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick was offered an opportunity to play in the Alliance of American Football for the league’s inaugural season this year, but his salary demands made that unrealistic. In fact, the former NFL quarterback wanted even more money than was initially reported.

Reports on Thursday indicated that Kaepernick was seeking $20 million to play in the AAF in 2019. According to sports business reporter Darren Rovell, that number is inaccurate — Kaep wanted more.

Kaepernick had to have known there was no way the AAF was going to pay him that kind of money, even if he would have been the most high-profile player in the league. The AAF currently has the same contract structure for all players: they receive $70,000 in their first year, $80,000 in their second, and $100,000 in their third. Players are free to pursue NFL careers beginning in May, but they must return to the AAF the following season if they don’t secure an NFL opportunity.

There were rumblings that Kaepernick was demanding too much money from NFL teams at one point, but most agree he has not played in the league since 2016 because he is credited with starting the national anthem protest movement. While most players in the AAF are trying to prove they have the ability to play in the NFL, Kaepernick likely believes that is not the issue for him.

Colin Kaepernick reportedly wanted $20 million to play for new AAF

Colin Kaepernick

The Alliance of American Football league debuted last weekend with some recognizable names on their rosters, though none as big as Colin Kaepernick. The former NFL quarterback is a player they actually had conversations with about playing for the league, though his price tag was an impediment.

According to the AP, Kaepernick sought $20 million to consider playing in the league. The league also approached Tim Tebow, who declined their interest in order to continue his pro baseball career.

Kaepernick made over $43 million during his NFL career, according to Spotrac. He made at least $12 million per year from 2014-2016.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, which is when he began protesting racial and social injustice and police brutality through demonstrations in the national anthem. His methods led to nationwide attention, making him a polarizing figure.

Even though he is not playing football, Kaepernick does have a major endorsement deal with Nike.

The AAF has the same contract structure for their players: they receive $70,000 in their first year, $80,000 in their second, and $100,000 in their third. The $20 million mark from Kaepernick was probably a starting point for negotiations, but regardless, the figure was well beyond what they are paying any other players.