The NFL and lawyers for players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid jointly announced Friday that they had settled a complaint of collusion by the players.
Kaepernick and Reid had claimed that NFL team owners blackballed them because they had protested racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem before games in 2016.
Terms of the settlement were confidential. But according to veteran NFL reporter Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, NFL team officials are speculating that Kaepernick was paid in the range of $60 million to $80 million. Freeman said this wasn’t an official figure, but speculation voice by the NFL officials agreed on this range.
Number NFL team officials are speculating to me is the NFL paid Kaepernick in the $60 to $80 million range.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) February 15, 2019
Before the deal with reach with Kaepernick and Reid, their complaints alleging violations of the league’s collective bargaining agreement were headed to a full hearing before an arbitrator later this month.
Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March 2017. Reid, who played for the 49ers from 2013 to 2017, signed with the Panthers before the team’s fourth game of the 2018 season and received a three-year deal earlier this week worth more than $22 million.
Kaepernick, a former standout quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, has not played since becoming a free agent after the 2016 season. He filed a grievance alleging collusion by team owners in October 2017.
Reid, a former 49ers safety, was signed by the Carolina Panthers in September, only after he had filed his own grievance against the National Football League. He continued to kneel during the 2018 season.
Their protests earned the scorn of some fans and of President Donald Trump, who claimed players who were kneeling were being disrespectful to the American flag and members of the military.
After the National Anthem kneeling protests began, the NFL implemented a rule that for nearly a year banned the act. That rule was later revoked.