Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL is moving full steam ahead as depositions are being taken from league executives, team owners, and staff. While there has been much speculation about the veteran free agent’s chances of winning, one former NFL player says that collusion happens all of the time. Bryant McKinnie filed a suit himself as a rookie and was able to get the money he sought.
McKinnie knows from experience that owners make deals off the books. He told TMZ that he was drafted the number seven pick for the Minnesota Vikings in 2002. McKinnie and Kansas City Chiefs number six pick Ryan Sims discovered that they were offered lower signing bonuses than Dallas Cowboys number eight draft pick Roy Williams.
Rather than sign his contract, McKinnie filed a complaint against the NFL and was a holdout for the start of his rookie season. After 98 days passed and some due diligence by his legal team, McKinnie was able to provide proof of the collusion between the Chiefs and the Vikings. He signed his contract on the condition that he drop his lawsuit against the league.
McKinnie also told the media outlet that he believes both Kaepernick and free agent Eric Reid should have jobs in the NFL. Reid seems to be suffering a similar fate as his former San Francisco 49ers teammate. During a meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals, Reid was questioned about his plans to protest during the national anthem next season should he signed to a team, according to The New York Post.
The Bengals organization passed on offering him a job but claimed that their reasoning is strictly professional. However, Reid’s personal stance on the anthem protests conflicts with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ thoughts on the subject. Lewis told the media at last month’s owner’s meeting that players who “have other agendas” beyond winning football games should look elsewhere for employment.
McKinnie said that if Kaepernick can get proof that owners collectively decided to keep him unemployed, it is quite possible to win his case. However, the fact that he will be off the playing field for several consecutive seasons will likely become the new excuse for not hiring Kaepernick–whether he wins or loses his lawsuit.