Kaepernick reportedly will join owners, players in next round of talks

Mike Florio        Pro Football Talk

As the NFL and the NFL Players Association work to resolve the anthem controversy once and for all, the guy who started the movement will be involved in the efforts get things turned around.

Via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, quarterback Colin Kaepernick will join the process next week, attending the next meeting between NFL owners and a group of players who have been directly negotiating the issue.

It appears, based on Robinson’s report, that Kaepernick will be attending at the invitation of the players and not the league. Players invited him to last week’s meeting, but Kaepernick decided not to attend without an invitation from the league.

During a Wednesday media briefing, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart addressed the possibility of Kaepernick attending the next meeting between owners and players.

“I expect he will be invited to this meeting,” Lockhart said. “We look forward to him joining the conversation.”

While that may be the expedient thing to say, the league probably views any interaction with Kaepernick as potentially radioactive at this point, given his pending collusion grievance against the NFL — and in light of comments from multiple players, such as Michael Bennett and Russell Okung indicating, that Kaepernick’s ongoing unemployment makes it difficult if not impossible to resolve the issue. Put simply, the NFL may sense that it’s being painted into a corner on this, with anything the owners say (or don’t say) potentially being used against them later, and with the players trying to leverage their power emerging from the anthem issue into employment for a player that no team wants to employ.

I’ve got some more thoughts on the issue, but I’ll save them for one of the segments in a special edition of the Thursday PFTPM podcast, which is only special because I usually don’t do it on Thursday but it’s starting to grow so we’ve giving the people what they want, or something.

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