For those of you who typically start feeling something akin to a post-NFL season depression, this year has been a little more palatable thanks to the introduction of the Alliance of American Football.
The vibe surrounding the AAF has been mostly positive, with nary a controversy to emanate from the league in its infancy.
According to a The Associated Press report, that could’ve been very different.
The AAF reached out to the highly-polarizing Colin Kaepernick to play for them while the league was still in development, the AP reported.
They could not come to terms on an arrangement when Kaepernick allegedly asked for a salary of $20 million “or more.” The report does not make it clear if Kaepernick was asking for $20 million per year or over the course of a multi-year deal.
Either way, it’s an utterly absurd demand that Kaepernick likely made in bad faith.
AAF contracts are all three-year deals worth a non-guaranteed $250,000, according to ESPN. That’s a far cry from $20 million. Kaepernick had to know that there was no way the AAF could possibly offer him what he was asking for.
The alleged contract demand makes it pretty clear that Kaepernick has no intention of ever returning to football and has found far more value in playing the victim card. In fairness, I can’t blame him. It’s much safer to continue to play the victim card than returning to the gridiron and proving that he can’t find NFL work because he’s an erratic check-down machine as opposed to some sinister collusion plot keeping him out of the NFL.
In case you’ve missed it, Kaepernick is the divisive free agent quarterback who simultaneously infuriated and galvanized a significant number of people when he began kneeling in protest during the national anthem in 2016.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback also has an ongoing collusion grievance against the NFL. Kaepernick asserts that the NFL has colluded to keep him out of the league due to his anthem protests.
Ignoring whatever political or ideological disagreements you may have with Kaepernick, it’s worth noting that his talent level is commensurate with the rest of the AAF.
Despite this bizarre notion that has emerged in recent years that Kaepernick was an NFL superstar, by virtually any metric, he grades out as an above average backup quarterback. A backup quarterback, it should be worth mentioning, that isn’t nearly worth the media circus and PR headaches that would accompany him.
As a backup quarterback, Kaepernick would, at least from a talent standpoint, fit right in with the rest of the AAF, which features countless NFL castoffs looking for a second chance.
That’s the thing, however, that points to the growing belief that Kaepernick has no intention of ever returning to the NFL and has instead found his calling card as some sort of ideological martyr to the far left.
If Kaepernick truly wanted to get back to the NFL, why wouldn’t he accept a spot in the AAF? As ESPN noted, if an AAF player can prove himself and draw interest from an NFL team, they are free to leave the AAF for the “big leagues” at any time.
Considering Kaepernick hasn’t thrown a meaningful professional football pass in over a year, wouldn’t it behoove him to show his stuff in the AAF? Of course, it would.
But that opens up the possibility of him exposing his deficiencies as an NFL passer, which would completely derail his collusion grievance. So he asked for $20 million in a league where players make a fraction of that.
It’s better for Kaepernick to remain silent and have everyone think he’s an attention-seeking, self-righteous backup caliber player than to actually step on a football field and remove all doubt.
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