The NFL settled a complaint of collusion against Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid for an undisclosed amount in February. News of the settlement amount ranging from $60 to $100 million surfaced after the confidential agreement was reached, but The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed, in an expose Thursday, that the league paid each man less than $10 million.
Sources briefed on the case confirmed the amount with the WSJ.
The news outlet claims Kaepernick could have acquired damages worth more than what an arbitrator said he lost when he was allegedly blackballed.
"If Mr. Kaepernick had won his grievance, the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players would have entitled him to damages worth up to three times what an arbitrator determined he lost as a result of the collusion."
The newspaper also said if Kaepernick's market value were found to be $30 million during the two seasons he was intentionally kept off the field, he could have been awarded $90 million.
The “costly litigation” the league would have faced reportedly played a role in its decision to settle.
The former San Francisco 49ers star has not played in the NFL since he began protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016-2017 season.
The following season, Kaepernick filed a suit accusing the league's team owners of colluding against him after he failed to find a new team to play for once he opted out of his contract with the 49ers.
Eric Reid, who also participated in the protest, filed a suit of his own in 2018. He was signed to the North Carolina Panthers in September and continued to protest on the field. He was granted a three-year extension in February.
Lawyers for the football stars, Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas, released a joint statement about the settlement.
"For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kapernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL," the statement read.
"As a result of those discussion, 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 NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released a statement as well.
"Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases. We are not privy to the details of the settlement but support the decision by the players and their counsel," the statement said.