After kicking off the national anthem protests that have since swept the nation, Kaepernick became a free agent, but he has not been signed since. If he wins his case and proves that the NFL teams colluded to keep him unsigned because of his protests, he could win millions.
Last year, Kaepernick made $14.3 million with the San Francisco 49ers and was set to make $16.9 million before he became a free agent when it looked like he would be cut. However, even if he didn’t make that much with a new team, he would still be pulling in a salary in the millions if he had been signed.
“I’d say that $10 million is about what quarterbacks who are thought to be on the downside of their careers are getting,” said Michael Ginnitti, managing editor of Spotrac.
And as Kaepernick pointed out in his grievance, he has not even been signed as a backup quarterback, where he would still be making around $3 million. Still, with the first third of the season already done, even if he was signed, he would still only get about two-thirds of a contract, with a $500,000 contract as the bare minimum under the collective bargaining agreement.
The trick here will be in proving collusion for Kaepernick. The burden of proof is on Kaepernick to show that the teams colluded to keep him out rather than each independently deciding not to sign him because of the controversy surrounding him. If he can prove that, he could be entitled to the millions he might have been signed for.