On Friday, the collusion case between the NFL and former teammates Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid was settled, the two sides announced.
The news followed a Thursday Associated Press report that Kaepernick was approached by the Alliance of American Football but the 31-year-old quarterback was looking for $20 million to play in the upstart league.
Both reports left many to question if Kaepernick was going to get another shot in the NFL or even wanted to play football at all.
Mark Geragos, Kaepernick’s attorney, answered the latter in a CNN interview Saturday, stating his client ‘‘absolutely wants to play. He wants to compete at the highest level. This is a competitive young man.’’
Geragos did not go into detail about the resolved collusion case but predicted three teams could be interested in signing Kaepernick, including the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots.
‘‘I’m gonna make a bold prediction that one of three teams picks him up,’’ Geragos said. ‘‘If Cam Newton is out, then the natural place to be is to play with Eric (Reid) in Carolina. I mean, can you imagine?’’
Kaepernick and Reid were San Francisco 49ers teammates from 2013 to 2016. On Monday, Reid signed a three-year extension worth more than $22 million with the Panthers.
‘‘I will tell you, besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft makes a move,’’ Geragos said at the end of his interview. ‘‘That would not surprise me. And it would not surprise me if his former coach . . . also makes a move.’’
Geragos never named the third team. Few of Kaepernick’s former coaches make sense, though he could be referring to one of Kraft’s ex-employees: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who coached the Patriots under Kraft from 1997 to 1999. Earlier in the interview, Geragos mentioned the Seahawks, saying ‘‘Seattle was probably the only place that talked to him’’ after Kaepernick left the 49ers in the 2017 offseason.
The Seahawks reportedly worked out Kaepernick in May 2017 and reportedly canceled an April 2018 workout over uncertainty as to whether he would stop kneeling during the national anthem. Signing with the Panthers would make a lot of sense for Kaepernick, given that the team’s offense is centered on athletic quarterback Cam Newton, who can throw downfield and is a threat to run at any time. Newton underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in January and while Carolina is hopeful he’ll be ready by the 2019 season opener, Kaepernick would provide security in case Newton falls behind schedule in his recovery.
Kaepernick joining the Patriots, meanwhile, would make for interesting story lines, given the friendship President Donald Trump has with Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. Trump lambasted NFL players for kneeling during the anthem, saying in 2017 that owners should cut players who protest.