I leave town for a few days, and even though it was not a trip to Las Vegas, we had some big news. I mean, it’s no surprise the 49ers decided to release Garry Gilliam, but still, that came about quickly!
That is certainly the most relevant big news during my time in New Orleans, but the bigger story was the NFL reaching an agreement on a settlement former former 49ers Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid with regard to their collusion grievances.
The settlement is confidential, but the first rumored dollar figure suggested a range of $60 million to $80 million. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman tweeted, “Number NFL team officials are speculating to me is the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range.”
Emphasis should be on “speculating.” At some point we’ll hear more information leak out, but barring a smoking gun document or communication, we’ll never know for sure. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio is reporting that the settlement did not quire the approval of team owners, but rather the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee made the decision without a vote of the 32 teams. Florio provided five reasons why he thinks the settlement is less than the $60 million to $80 million range.
Regardless of the number, the Monday morning takes have piqued my curiosity. NBC Sports columnist Peter King and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer have their competing Monday Morning Quarterback-style columns to discuss the news of the weekend. Neither believes there was a true smoking gun found during discovery, but Breer thinks there was a good chance embarrassing information would have been revealed had this case gone to trial.
King and Breer have done some good reporting and feature-writing during their respective careers, but both have at times shown a willingness to carry water for the NFL on some notable topics. That’s not to say they’re never critical of the league, but in some of the bigger issues that have arisen in the league, King and Breer are likely to offer something closer to the NFL’s messaging.
That being said, there are differences in their approach to the settlement. King offered up reasons it made sense for the NFL to settle, albeit in a manner colored in their direction. Breer went in the other direction with regard to why the league might settle. The fact that these two particular media members are coming at this from different angles says something about the complicated nature of the matter.
All that being said, the grievances are over. Eric Reid recently signed a contract extension with the Carolina Panthers, while Colin Kaepernick remains out of the league. I would love to know just how much money is involved here, because it would give me a better handle on the kind of good Kap and Reid will be able to do in their work on behalf of under-represented people.
We’ve already seen Kap offer up his $1 million in donations while also financing and building his Know Your Rights camps with Reid. Add in seven or eight figures of the NFL’s money, and the good work they are doing could grow by leaps and bounds. We can talk about the NFL, Kaepernick, and Reid as the “winners” or “losers” in this process, but at the very least, the people Kap and Reid are attempting to help with their work off the field could prove to be the big winners in this.