The two players alleged that league-wide collusion kept them out of the NFL. Reid eventually signed with the Carolina Panthers, but Kaepernick remains unsigned. After more than a year in court following the initial 2017 filing, the two sides reached an undisclosed settlement in February. Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since March 2017.
According to the Wall Street Journal report, which cited people briefed on the deal, it’s not clear how the money will be split and how much the players will net after legal fees. To put Kaepernick’s split of the $10 million in perspective, his base salary in 2016 alone was nearly $12 million.
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 in February worth more than $22 million.
Since Kaepernick had been out for two seasons, observers assumed his salary for those two years would have been a total of $30 million, given the marketplace for QBs.
Instead, Kaepernick appears to have been awarded significantly less. Legal experts had said the case would be difficult for Kaepernick to win, which may have contributed to him accepting a lesser settlement.
In the end, it looks like the NFL paid Kaepernick and Reid a few million each, just to be quiet for the league’s poor actions.