BOSTON (CBS) — Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL team, despite being 30 years old and having a better resume than more than half of the quarterbacks currently employed by NFL teams.
And so, Kaepernick is claiming that NFL owners colluded against signing him, in a private agreement to try to keep his cause quiet and avoid any public backlash from fans and — more importantly — sponsors.
It will be a difficult case to prove, but on Friday, a potential major break was reported.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Texans owner Bob McNair and other NFL owners “will be deposed and asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in relation to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the NFL,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
While Kraft’s team did not have a roster need for a quarterback until this week, he is one of the more influential owners in the league, and so his communications on the matter could be relevant. He’s also spoken publicly to the BBC about Kaepernick, saying he never heard any owners discussing a collective decision to cast him out of the league.
Kraft also is a friend of president Donald Trump, who kick-started a second wave of player protests in the NFL in late September when he colorfully said any player who takes a knee during the national anthem should be fired. Any potential communication between Kraft and Trump could prove to be applicable to the matter.
McNair’s team also needed a quarterback this past week, after rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending ACL injury at practice. Instead of pursuing a somewhat similar mobile quarterback option in Kaepernick, the Texans signed Matt McGloin, who has 11 career touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Earlier this week, Yahoo reported that the list of the targets of Kaepernick’s collusion claim were expected to include Kraft, Jones, Trump, Roger Goodell, the Seahawks, the Titans and the Ravens.
Schefter noted that other owners and league executives will be deposed, but he’s yet to confirm a complete list.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora later reported that Goodell and other league executives, as well as executives from the Seahawks, Ravens and Titans were requested for deposition.