Although Colin Kaepernick has filed a collusion lawsuit against NFL owners, his ultimate goal may not simply be gaining entrance into the league. Instead, Kaepernick is attempting to end the current contractual bargaining agreement that exists between the NFL and the NFLPA, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
The CBA can dissolved if an arbitrator determines that a single player was the victim of collusion, as Florio writes. However, the CBA clearly states that the “proceeding must be brought by the NFLPA,” per Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap (Twitter links). Kaepernick has reportedly filed the suit on his own and without the assistance of the union, which would seem to violate the preliminary conditions required for the dissolution of the CBA.
If Kaepernick were to precipitate the end of the current CBA, however, he’d be handing a large amount of leverage to current players, as Florio details. The CBA is not set to expire until the conclusion of the 2020 season, but terminating the agreement now would force league owners to immediately negotiate with the NFLPA, likely resulting in more favorable terms for the union.
The lawsuit is likely to end any chance Kaepernick ever had at returning to the NFL, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, as the grievance “all but assures” that no club will offer Kaepernick a contract while he’s fighting the owners legally. But given that Kaepernick very well may have been ostracized from the NFL already, he has little to lose by filing suit against the league.
A source tells Florio the Titans’ rejection of Kaepernick following an injury to Marcus Mariota was the “final straw” for the embattled quarterback. Kaepernick reached out to Tennessee after Mariota went down with a hamstring strain, but the Titans expressed no interest and ultimately signed journeyman Brandon Weeden instead.
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