The key will be determining how much of a case Colin Kaepernick has and if he can prove it, but these steps are huge in determining if NFL owners really have banded together to blackball the former 49ers star.

Per Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, Kaepernick has filed a grievance under the CBA, accusing owners of “collusion” in order to keep him out of the NFL:

According to this Sports Illustrated article from last spring, Kaepernick will have to prove that there is actual evidence of a conspiracy.
If Kaepernick pursues a collusion claim, his first step would be to file a grievance under the CBA’s anti-collusion provision: Article 17. Under it, teams cannot enter into any agreement—whether express or even implied—to refrain from negotiating with a particular player. To be clear, Article 17 does not prohibit each individual team deciding, on its own, that it does not want to negotiate with a particular player. Collusion occurs when teams conspire, either with one another or with the league, against a player.

Further, the fact that teams have signed free-agent quarterbacks who are similar or arguably inferior to Kaepernick does not, on its own, prove collusion. Teams are under no obligation to sign one player over another even when statistical evidence and scouting reports suggest the team should have signed the other player. A team could conclude that Kaepernick might be a better quarterback except for the associated controversy of his political expressions. Such a team could then conclude that a less talented quarterback who doesn’t attract intense media coverage would be a better fit for team and the locker room. This seems particularly true if teams view Kaepernick as a backup at this point in his career—backups are usually expected to remain in the background.
According to Freeman, Kaepernick will make a statement explaining his stance as well.

If league officials thought he was a distraction before, wait until they get a load of this process.


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