By Peter Gleason
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The attorney for Colin Kaepernick said in an interview with CNN that the quarterback still “absolutely wants to play” in the NFL, and he projected the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots as two of the best landing spots for him.
Mark Geragos spoke with CNN a day after Kaepernick and Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL concerning their collusion grievances against the league.
Geragos said he spoke with Kaepernick on Saturday about his desire to play.
“I think you’re going to see … within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos told ESPN. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft makes a move.”
Geragos called the Panthers a “natural place” for Kaepernick to be, especially if quarterback Cam Newton struggles to return from offseason arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Joining the Panthers also would reunite Kaepernick with Reid, his former teammate with the San Francisco 49ers who joined him in kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
Kaepernick, 31, filed a grievance in October 2017 under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract. The settlement the sides reached includes a confidentiality agreement that prevents either side from commenting further.
As such, Geragos told CNN that he couldn’t comment on anything about the settlement.
This isn’t the first time Geragos has mentioned the Patriots as a possibility for Kaepernick. Kraft’s reputation as a bridge-builder in NFL circles could be the impetus for that, as well as quarterback Tom Brady, 41, having said publicly that his goal is to play until he’s 45, which means the club will be searching for a successor in the coming years.
But the Patriots appear to be a long shot for Kaepernick, as they already have a veteran backup in Brian Hoyer, 33, one of Brady’s closest friends. The team also selected quarterback Danny Etling in the seventh round of the 2018 draft, and could potentially select another quarterback this year.
Geragos also said on CNN that he wouldn’t be surprised if one of the Patriots’ former coaches “makes a move” for Kaepernick.
He didn’t specify which team. Former Patriots defensive playcaller Brian Flores is now coach of the Miami Dolphins, while former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is coach of the Detroit Lions and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is coach of the Houston Texans.
“He wants to compete at the highest level,” Geragos said of Kaepernick. “This is a competitive young man.”
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.