Colin Kaepernick

Extra Points: Giants, OBJ, Kaep, Murray

Will the Giants trade Odell Beckham. Jr. this offseason? Speculation is mounting, and Mike Florio of PFT adds fuel to the fire by suggesting that OBJ and the 49ers could be a match.

The Niners have the No. 2 and No. 36 overall picks in the draft, giving them ample ammo to land one of the game’s most dynamic receivers. An outright swap of the No. 2 pick for OBJ may be too high of a price for the 49ers to pay, but Florio suggests that the Giants could send back a third- or fourth-round pick to balance things out.

Florio also wonders if the already star-studded Rams could reignite their OBJ pursuit. Brandin Cooks seems to have the WR1 position covered, but they could theoretically put together a package with draft capital and a receiver like Robert Woods to make a strong offer.

While you ponder those OBJ possibilities, here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Now that Colin Kaepernick‘s collusion grievance has been settled, the door may be open for the quarterback to return to the NFL. With that in mind, the beat writers of The Athletic ran down potential fits with each of the league’s 32 teams. The entire piece is worth a read, though there is a common refrain – Kaep may be a fit for several teams, but PR issues would ultimately 86 the chance of deals in most cases. The Seahawks, who previously explored a Kaepernick signing, may be among the most likely landing spots for the polarizing QB.
  • Oklahoma quarterback and dual-sport star Kyler Murray is training for the Scouting Combine, but he is unsure about whether he will throw in Indianapolis, as Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram tweets. Murray, presumably, will run the 40-yard dash, and he says he posted an impressive 4.3-second time when he last tried it in 2016. Teams will also be eager to measure the QB. An Oklahoma official recently claimed that Murray comes in at just 5’9″ and 7/8 inches in socks.
  • The Steelers might not get all that much for Antonio Brown in a trade, some NFL execs say.

Latest On Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL in their collusion case last week, leading to speculation of big numbers. However, speculation that the settlement amount landed in the range of $60-$80M is incorrect, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke with Mike Florio of PFT

[RELATED: Kaepernick Lawyer Predicts A Team Will Sign QB Soon]

There are other indications that Kaep and Reid did not land a colossal settlement. For example, the payments by the league to the duo did not require the approval of team owners. Instead, the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee approved the settlement, without a vote of the member clubs, which suggests that it was not a monumental figure.

Also, multiple people connected to the league have downplayed the settlement as an amount that will cover anticipated legal expenses, which suggests a number in the seven figures, rather than eight figures. It also appears the settlement did not “buy out” Kaepernick professional football employment – that settlement amount would have been astronomical, but it’s likely a smaller sum since Kaepernick will still have the opportunity to earn an NFL paycheck, should he be given the opportunity.

The AAF expressed interest in Kaepernick (and Tim Tebow), but negotiations came to a halt when the QB reportedly asked for a $20MM salary. Reid, meanwhile, is set thanks to his recent three-year, $22MM+ extension with the Panthers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kaepernick Lawyer Predicts A Team Will Sign QB Soon

After reaching a settlement with the NFL on his collusion case earlier this week, Colin Kaepernick could be nearing a return to the league, his lawyer Mark Geragos said in an interview on CNN, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Reports tweets

“I think you’re going to see within the next two weeks someone is going to step up.”

In addition to making that statement, he mentioned that three teams could have interest, namely the Panthers. Whether he is speaking from knowledge of the situation, which he obviously has, or just making the claim, is unknown at this moment.

The Panthers are a natural landing spot for the former 49ers quarterback, who possesses a similar skill set to Cam Newton and would be playing for a team that just gave Eric Reid a three-year contract. Reid, of course, was a part of the same collusion case against the NFL.

In the past, Geragos has also mentioned the Patriots as a potential landing spot. Of course, any team that does sign the polarizing figure could withstand a backlash from a section of fans who do not agree with Kaepernick’s protest. If any team could do it, it would be the Patriots.

Again, as far as fits go, the Panthers would make the most sense. The offense wouldn’t have to change if Newton, who has been dealing with nagging injuries over the last year, has to leave the game. The mobile Kaepernick obviously boasts a different skill set than the statuesque Tom Brady. Also, in recent years New England has opted for a traditional pocket passer as its backup like Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer rather than a dual-threat.

Recently, it was reported the quarterback was contacted by the upstart AAF about a potential gig but he decided not to sign with the league.

We will see in the coming days if there is anything to Geragos’ comments or if it is just conjecture.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Settles With Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid

The NFL has reached a settlement agreement with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid regarding their grievances, according to a joint statement from their attorney and the league: 

[RELATED: AAF Reached Out To Kaepernick, Tebow]

“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.”

Kaepernick and Reid accused NFL teams of colluding in order to keep them out of work. Reid eventually found a home with the Panthers in 2018, but Kaepernick has been out of football since the 2016 season. To some, the settlement agreement may signal the NFL’s unwillingness to disclose information that would give credence to allegations from the former 49ers. It’s also possible that both sides reached a compromise after taking a full assessment of the resources that would be needed for litigation.

In recent weeks, Kaepernick’s camp rebuffed NFL settlement attempts, but it appears that the NFL upped its offer to a satisfactory point. It remains to be seen whether the deal will pave the way for Kaepernick to return to the NFL, but Reid has a home thanks to his recent three-year, $22MM+ extension with the Panthers.

The NFLPA also issued a statement on the matter:

Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases. 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, 31 in November, has spent his entire NFL career to date with the 49ers. From 2011-2016, he went 28-30 in his starts, though he did take the team to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season and the NFC championship game following the 2013 campaign. Kaepernick’s last start came in January of 2017 as the 49ers closed out a trying season with a loss to the Seahawks.

Since then, clubs have shunned the QB following his national anthem demonstrations. Kaepernick has not played at an elite level in several years, but, from a talent perspective, he is unquestionably deserving of a roster spot given the dearth of quality QB options on the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AAF Reached Out To Kaepernick, Tebow

The Alliance of American Football targeted two popular former NFL quarterbacks. But neither has agreed to join the upstart league.

Both Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow were on the new league’s radar, AAF co-founder Bill Polian said (via The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones, on Twitter).

AAF CEO Charlie Ebersol spoke with Kaepernick about the ex-49ers quarterback’s interest of playing in the league, Polian said. It’s unclear how far these discussions progressed, but the 31-year-old passer is obviously not on an AAF roster.

Kaepernick may have wanted an unrealistic contract to join the league, with the Associated Press’ Barry Wilner reporting the former Super Bowl starter sought at least $20MM to play in the eight-team, 10-game league. At least one of the conversations between the AAF and Kaepernick occurred during the league’s developmental stages, Wilner adds.

AAF players do not earn million-dollar salaries; the startup league’s standard deal is three years, $250K. A payment in the $20MM stratosphere would have been obviously untenable for the new league.

Polian spoke with Tebow, who is currently in the New York Mets’ minor league system, but the former Heisman Trophy winner declined to join the league. Orlando Apollos coach Steve Spurrier also gauged Tebow’s interest in joining the AAF.

The AAF began its first season last weekend. Embroiled in a high-profile grievance against the NFL, Kaepernick has not played organized football since the 2016 season. Tebow has not taken any regular-season snaps since 2012.

Mentioned in most cases when lesser quarterbacks have been signed by NFL teams over the past two years, Kaepernick did land on the Redskins’ radar before the team instead signed Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson. The latter was, at the time, affiliated with the AAF.

Kaepernick’s camp has rebuffed NFL settlement attempts regarding his grievance against the league. A trial could begin this month. Tebow, also 31, made his way to the Mets’ Double-A team last season. He hit .273/.336/.399 in 271 at-bats, lacing 21 extra-base hits. The Mets invited their most popular minor leaguer to spring training.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Panthers, Rivera, Martin, Cowboys, Kaepernick

A lot of high profile coaches have been rumored to be on the hot seat this year, and while Ron Rivera’s name has certainly been mentioned, his job status has mostly flown under-the-radar. There was a report last week that new Panthers owner David Tepper could consider making “major changes” after the season, but other than that it’s been pretty quiet. Rivera let a couple of his assistant coaches go last week in an effort to help stabilize the crumbling defense, but his own job could very well be in danger.

The Panthers started the season 6-2 and were the toast of the league for a while, but have since lost five straight games. While Tepper is patient and has a good relationship with Rivera, if the losing streak continues Rivera very well may be fired after eight years with the team, according to Joseph Person of The Athletic. The team lost to the Browns today, and Cam Newton‘s play has declined sharply after a hot start. Reports this week have indicated he’s been dealing with lingering shoulder pain, which has undoubtedly contributed to the team’s struggles.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Cowboys guard Zack Martin suffered a scary looking knee injury in their overtime win over the Eagles, but it looks like he escaped major injury. Owner Jerry Jones said after the game that the team is “concerned” about the injury but that there doesn’t “appear to be any structural damage.” While it’s good news that his ligaments are alright, it sounds like he could still miss some games. Being without Martin for any period of time would be a major blow for Dallas, as Martin is one of the league’s best guards.
  • Colin Kaepernick would be very interested in joining the Redskins, sources told Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Kaepernick has been working out and the sources told Robinson that he’s in the “best shape of his life.” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said the team “discussed” Kaepernick, but wanted someone with more experience in their system. After Mark Sanchez melted down today and the team had to insert Josh Johnson it’s possible they reconsider, but still very unlikely.
  • In case you missed it, the Ravens could move on from John Harbaugh even if Baltimore makes the playoffs.

 

Redskins Discussed Colin Kaepernick; Latest On Team’s QB Outlook

The Redskins saw their once-promising 2018 season take a nosedive when starting QB Alex Smith broke his tibia and fibia in a loss to the Texans last month. Washington lost its next two games and also saw its backup signal-caller, Colt McCoy, suffer a season-ending injury of his own. So while the Redskins are technically still alive in the NFC playoff race, they now have to find a way to qualify for the postseason with Mark Sanchez under center.

The team recently signed Josh Johnson to serve as Sanchez’s backup, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the Redskins did discuss Colin Kaepernick before signing Johnson. Washington head coach Jay Gruden said Kaepernick was “talked about and discussed,” but the team ultimately did not reach out to him (in fact, Schefter says that no club has contacted Kaepernick to gauge his interest or arrange a workout this year).

Gruden, of course, said that the decision to not pursue Kaepernick was a purely football one. He said the Redskins would have needed to change their offense too much to accommodate Kaepernick’s skill set, and that it may have been a different story if the team needed a new QB in Week 1 rather than Week 14. He did suggest that Kaepernick, who has not played a regular season snap in nearly two years, would have been a backup to Sanchez anyway and would not have been a candidate for the starting job. Gruden said, “[w]hen you’re talking about a backup quarterback this late in the game you want someone with a similar skill set to the quarterback you have. Not that Colin can’t do some of the things we’ve talked about, but we want someone with a little more familiarity.”

Speaking of Smith, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the 34-year-old remains in the hospital (video link). Smith suffered an infection stemming from the above-referenced injury and had to undergo another procedure as a result. Rapoport suggests that Smith is still battling the infection, and no one has been able to definitively say that Smith will be able to play football again. At the very least, he seems highly unlikely to be ready for the start of the 2019 season, so the Redskins will need to acquire a QB either via free agency or the draft.

Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com explores Smith’s contract situation and the Redskins’ options with respect to that contract in excellent detail. Ultimately, he suggests that Washington may have to defer as much as much as $27.2MM to future years just to have enough money to conduct business in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and the entire article is well-worth a read, especially for Redskins fans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Work Out Free Agent QBs

After losing their top two quarterbacks to injury, the Redskins are in the market for another signal caller. The Redskins will once again audition E.J. Manuel, T.J. Yates, Josh Johnson, and others as they look to support de facto starter Mark Sanchez, coach Jay Gruden announced. 

Naturally, reporters pressed Gruden on whether Colin Kaepernick is or was a consideration for the team. Gruden acknowledged that Kaepernick was discussed, but it doesn’t sound as though he was a real candidate for the Redskins.

[There’s] not a lot of time to get a brand new QB and a system installed and taught in a couple days. He’s been talked about and discussed, but we’ll probably go in a different direction,” Gruden said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s John Keim).

Backup Colt McCoy stepped in when Alex Smith was lost to a scary leg injury, but McCoy was knocked out of action this week when he suffered a broken fibula of his own. McCoy is holding out hope that he can return in a matter of weeks, but that will be a moot point unless Sanchez can lead the Redskins to a winning streak that will put them in the playoff mix.

The 6-6 Redskins have a 26% chance of reaching the playoffs and a 7% chance of bypassing the Cowboys and Eagles for the divisional crown. It’ll be an uphill battle, however, with Sanchez under center behind a depleted offensive line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Progress In Colin Kaepernick Settlement Talks; 2019 Hearing Likely

The NFL and NFLPA have engaged in preliminary settlement discussions in Colin Kaepernick‘s collusion grievance. They’ve gone nowhere, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports, adding a hearing is likely to occur early in 2019.

Now, the league and the union have progressed on discussions based around how the hearing will unfold. It’s not expected to begin any later than February.

A hearing is tentatively expected to occur in at a Philadelphia hotel, per La Canfora, with plenty of NFL personnel set to be required to testify. The hearing, which stands to be overseen by arbitrator Stephen Burbank, is expected to last at least two weeks.

Kaepernick’s team plans to depose NFL owners, GMs and coaches — several of whom have already been questioned during this lengthy process. Roger Goodell and other prominent league executives will be deposed as well. JLC adds the recorded depositions of Paul Allen and Bob McNair, owners who died this year, could be admitted.

The 31-year-old quarterback has not played since Week 17 of the 2016 season. Kaepernick remains interested in resuming his career, one put on hold because of his racial inequality protests during national anthems, and La Canfora reports his agents have reached out to teams weekly about booking a workout. They’ve done this since the start of the 2017 season. None have granted such an opportunity. Kaepernick continues to work out daily in hopes of another chance, though as the months pass and lesser-acclaimed quarterbacks continue to be signed, odds diminish of a return to the NFL.

The Seahawks hosted Kaepernick on a 2017 visit but cancelled a 2018 summit with the passer. Kaepernick has not received another tryout opportunity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Kaepernick Still Interested In Playing

With Alex Smith suffering a broken tibia and fibia on Sunday, the Redskins have begun searching for another quarterback, with several veterans expected to work out for the team on Monday. One name that has not been linked to a workout is Colin Kaepernick. If Washington called, however, people close to the quarterback said he is still interested in returning to the NFL, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes

This contradicts another story from USA Today’s Mike Jones, who tweeted that some people close to the former San Francisco signal-caller didn’t know if he wants to play anymore. Florio, however, says he still works out five hours per day, six days a week in the hopes of landing another gig. Regardless which source is right, any time a team has a void under center, Kaepernick’s name will appear.

After all, filling in for an injured Smith was how he rose to prominence with the 49ers in 2012. In seven starts, the dual-threat passer led San Francisco to a 5-2 mark and then proceeded to power the team to the Super Bowl, where it fell to the Ravens, 34-31.

Though he wants to play, it remains to be seen if he will be given the chance.

Kaepernick, of course, has not played in the NFL since 2016, as clubs have shunned him following his national anthem demonstrations. While he was scheduled to work out for the Seahawks earlier this year, the audition was eventually canceled after Kaepernick declined to stop kneeling during the anthem.

Kaepernick alleges that owners from around the league colluded to keep him unsigned. The alleged collusion stems from his protest of social inequalities in the United States, which included kneeling for the national anthem.

At 6-4, the Redskins sit atop the NFC East heading into a pivotal Thanksgiving Day tilt with the second-place Cowboys. A loss will drop them into a tie for first place with Dallas.