Several NFL teams have been deposed in Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance against the league, and it has reportedly already uncovered some eyebrow-raising information.
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported on Monday that the collusion case outlines that when Kaepernick became a free agent in March 2017, several teams viewed him as a starting quarterback.
Kaepernick has remained unsigned. While critics have acknowledged that his kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality played a part in his unemployment, many also argued that teams didn’t think he was good enough to be a starter.
Kaepernick’s team has found evidence otherwise, according to Florio:
“The ongoing collusion case is establishing that multiple teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting NFL quarterback in 2017, and that they continue to view him that way. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, internal franchise documents generated as part of the free-agency evaluation process and testimony from witnesses harvested via depositions in the collusion litigation has established that teams viewed Kaepernick as being good enough not simply to be employed by an NFL team, but to be a starting quarterback for an NFL team.”
Several people in the NFL world have argued that Kaepernick is good enough to warrant a job as a backup quarterback. But NFL executives — usually of the anonymous variety — have said that because Kaepernick thrives in a particular offense, he wouldn’t be useful as a backup option.
According to Florio, the next step for Kaepernick’s team will be trying to prove teams coordinated to keep Kaepernick from getting signed.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, has continued to train. In April, reports suggested the Seattle Seahawks postponed a meeting with Kaepernick after he declined to say whether he would continue protesting. It’s unclear whether the meeting was rescheduled.
Kaepernick’s former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid also filed a collusion grievance against the NFL earlier this month after going unsigned for over two months in free agency. Reid was one of the first players to kneel alongside Kaepernick during the national anthem.