In a stunning decision, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid have reached a financial settlement with the NFL to withdraw their joint collusion complaints against the league and will take no further action in the case. While sources declined to offer specifics for the decision, Yahoo Sports was told on prior occasions that Kaepernick and Reid would only withdraw the complaint if a lucrative financial settlement was reached between the players and the NFL.
The league and Kaepernick’s attorneys released a statement Friday saying the matter had been resolved confidentially. As part of that confidentiality, it is believed both sides signed a non-disclosure agreement agreeing not to speak publicly about details of the case or settlement.
“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL,” the statement said. “As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”
The agreement comes on the doorstep of the final hearing in the Kaepernick case, which was set to take place before arbitrator Stephen Burbank this month. Kaepernick had alleged the league conspired to keep him out after he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. Multiple NFL players adopted Kaepernick’s protest in 2017, hoping to draw attention to social justice and racial inequality issues. The actions sparked a political firestorm from President Donald Trump and the furor became such a central issue for the league for nearly one year that it instituted a rule that banned protests during the national anthem. That rule has since been shelved by the NFL and now appears to be dead, for all intents and purposes.
The NFLPA also released a statement Friday, supporting the settlement between the league and players.
“Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases,” the NFLPA said. “We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel. We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract [from the Carolina Panthers], and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well.”