NEW YORK - Now that Colin Kaepernick has settled his collusion grievances with the NFL, the next step is getting him back in the league, his lawyer said Saturday night.
Attorney Mark Geragos told CNN that Kaepernick “absolutely wants to play” and made a pretty bold prediction about when that might happen.
“I think you’re going to see … within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos asked, per ESPN. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if Bob Kraft makes a move.”
Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, is among the founders of an organization launched last month to seek criminal justice reform.
The settlement of the grievance filed by Kaepernick and Eric Reid was announced in a joint statement released by their attorneys and the league on Friday.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the statement reads. “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.”
According to Yahoo Sports, the final hearing in the players’ joint collusion case against the NFL was scheduled for later this month. Yahoo added that sources previously said Kaepernick would only withdraw his grievance for a lucrative settlement.
The NFL Players Association released a statement supporting the resolution.
“Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases,” the statement reads. “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel. We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them.
“We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”
Kaepernick filed his grievance in October 2017, alleging collusion by NFL owners to keep him out of the league, as he remained unsigned as a free agent through the fall after opting out of a contract with the San Francisco 49ers that spring. A number of owners, executives, coaches and other figures have been deposed as part of the grievance, and a motion by the NFL to have the grievance dismissed was denied in August.
Reid, who was the first player to join Kaepernick in 2016 with the 49ers by kneeling during the national anthem in protest, filed his own collusion case against the NFL in May 2018. It appears the two grievances were combined into a joint case, but it’s unclear when that occurred.
Reid became a free agent in March 2018 and remained unsigned until mid-September, when the Carolina Panthers brought him in after an injury to safety Da’Norris Searcy. With his one-year deal expiring after the season, Reid signed a three-year extension for a reported $22 million with Carolina last week.
The 31-year-old Kaepernick remains unsigned, having not played a game since the 2016 regular-season finale. He led the 49ers to a Super Bowl XLVII appearance after the 2012 season.