JLC: NFL Settlement With Kaepernick "Unprecedented"

Jason La Canfora explained why the settlement was historic – and what it means for both Kaepernick and the league

Taz and the Moose
February 18, 2019 - 10:49 am

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The NFL announced Friday that it reached a settlement with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid in their collusion case against the league.

Many NFL analysts, including Jason La Canfora were, quite frankly, surprised.

“Yeah, I was,” the CBS Sports NFL insider said on Taz & The Moose. “This is fairly unprecedented. It’s usually the league coming after a player or a coach, especially in the NFL, whether it’s Deflategate or Bountygate or whatever – not so much a player putting the commissioner and at least half of (the owners) and a bunch of GMs and a bunch of coaches sort of under the gun. I was very interested just to see where it went, how it proceeded, if or when we got to a hearing stage and what that would have been like for the league and these various people who would have basically been told you have to consider this like you’re under oath and be as honest as you possibly can.

“I knew the league for various reasons did not want to get to a process like that,” La Canfora continued, “but I wasn’t sure – because these sides were so diametrically opposed – if they would be able to find enough common ground to settle and squash this thing. Obviously they were.”

Due to a confidentiality agreement, the league, Kaepernick and Reid are not permitted to discuss settlement specifics.

“In the weeks and months to come, I suspect we learn a little bit more about some of the particulars,” La Canfora said, “but I don’t think we’ll ever know everything based on the confidentiality agreements. But (this was) an unprecedented situation with an unprecedented conclusion. And no matter what we may found out one way or the other, the bottom line is the NFL gave concessions and gave a lot of money to somebody who they didn’t have to do anything for. 

“I don’t know how you don’t like at that as – I’m not going to use terms like won or lost – but certainly Colin Kaepernick got some recourse from the NFL,” La Canfora continued. “When the process started, the league didn’t think he had merit for it to move forward. They wanted it over before it began, and it ended with them stroking a pretty big check for Colin Kaeperick. I think the process in his mind probably served him well.”

While the league settled with Kaepernick, that does not necessarily mean he will be back in the NFL soon – or ever.

“Could somebody sign him? Sure,” La Canfora said. “Do I think three teams are kind of waiting to give him a contract any moment now? I don’t think so. I have a hard time thinking that’s the case. But at some point over the course of a long offseason, is there an owner willing to do it? Possibly. But these are the same guys who also – in the heat of the moment as seasons were unwinding, as seasons were collapsing (because so many quarterbacks went down) – they systematically found Mark Sanchez or Matt Cassel or Josh Johnson. Anybody but Colin Kaepenrick in real time as seasons were falling apart. 

“I don’t know that now all of a sudden, with six months before we play a preseason game, that people are going to all of a sudden give Colin Kaepenrick an NFL contract,” La Canfora continued. “I hope they do. I hope he gets his shot. There’s going to be 100-plus quarterbacks under contract again this offseason. He’s clearly one of the best 100. But I don’t know. I’ve watched this whole thing unfold, and I don’t know that it has a shiny, happy resolution.”

Click below to listen to La Canfora's interview in its entirety.