Colin Kaepernick has ended his lawsuit against the NFL with what is believed to be a multi-million dollar settlement, and now the Super Bowl starter hopes to return to the league.
Kaepernick had filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that owners colluded to keep him unsigned after he started to take a knee during the national anthem, in protest of police brutality against minorities. Along with Eric Reid, who was also part of the lawsuit, Kaepernick reached a settlement with the league for the grievances and now hopes to put it behind him and make a comeback.
As the New York Post reported, lawyer Mark Geragos said he could not comment on the lawsuit for his client due to a confidentiality agreement, but did say that Kaepernick was ready to play quarterback in the NFL again.
“He wants to compete at the highest level,” Geragos said of Kaepernick. “This is a competitive young man.”
Geragos also speculated that the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots could be interested, though it is not clear if either team has expressed interest. Kaepernick would likely have to return to the NFL as a backup, but after being out of the league for more than two seasons, he would face an uphill battle to unseat any of the more established quarterbacks and earn a spot on a team again.
It would seem even less likely that Colin Kaepernick would sign with the New England Patriots, where Tom Brady is still solidly in the starting position, and backup Brian Hoyer is considered an important part of the team’s week-to-week defensive preparations. Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been a friend of President Donald Trump, who himself has been highly critical of Kaepernick and his protest.
After Trump spoke out against protesting players in 2017, sparking leaguewide protests, Kraft made it clear that he preferred players to stand during the national anthem but would allow the players to make a statement if they so chose.
“The greatest enemy in sport is division from within,” Robert Kraft told the BBC. “I personally feel it’s very important to respect our flag and our anthem. But I also respect the right of people in this country to make statements or protests, peacefully, in a way that’s appropriate to them.”
It was not reported how much money Colin Kaepernick received through his settlement with the NFL, but Business Insider noted that league sources speculate it could be somewhere between $60 million and $80 million.