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Report: Teams viewed Colin Kaepernick as a starting quarterback

They still need to prove collusion, but this “football reasons” nonsense can be put to rest.

The Colin Kaepernick collusion case is underway and while there’s no end in sight, we at least have some clarity to one statement: that “football reasons” excuse as to why he couldn’t get a job. It was just that, an excuse.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports that NFL teams viewed Kaepernick not just as a backup, but a starting quarterback.

If the subtle-on-the-surface shift that happened last July, when Kaepernick’s status went from being about only football to being about non-football considerations, wasn’t enough to prove that the “all about football” narrative amounted to nonsense, the ongoing collusion case is establishing that multiple teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting NFL quarterback in 2017, and that they continue to view him that way. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, internal franchise documents generated as part of the free-agency evaluation process and testimony from witnesses harvested via depositions in the collusion litigation has established that teams viewed Kaepernick as being good enough not simply to be employed by an NFL team, but to be a starting quarterback for an NFL team.

There’s a few things to take from this. First, if they continue to view Kaepernick as a starter, that means the “one year out of football” excuse probably won’t fly. At least, for 2018. The bigger, and more important take: Football reasons aren’t a reason he’s not getting a job.

This doesn’t prove collusion at all, but it does prove that the excuse of “football reasons” that the league has seemed to draw up when in a jam doesn’t hold as much water. If it ever did.

Collusion requires two teams, or one team and the league coming to an agreement with regard to not signing Kaepernick. It is not overly difficult to prove that teams are not signing Kaepernick for reasons not entirely related to football. But to prove that teams are doing in this in communication with one or more teams or the league office? That’s a tough one.