Reps for NFL outcast Colin Kaepernick talked with the Alliance of American Football about joining the new league, but the upstart’s modest salaries may have turned off the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, according to outlets.
AAF co-founder Bill Polian told The Athletic that league executive Charlie Ebersol spoke with Kaepernick’s advisers about signing up the civil rights activist.
“I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said.
The problem may have been money. An unnamed source “with knowledge of the conversation” told The Associated Press that Kaepernick sought $20 million or more. That’s quite a jump from the non-guaranteed $225,000 over three years that AAF players reportedly pull down.
The modestly budgeted league began play last week with a 10-game regular season schedule. Players are free to pursue spots in the NFL in May.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL for two seasons after sparking a national controversy by kneeling during the national anthem at games to protest social and racial injustice.
He has sued the NFL, accusing it of conspiring to keep him from playing. The demonstrations carried on without him, and Kaepernick has continued to campaign for civil rights. He also was picked by Nike as the face of the company’s anniversary “Just Do It” advertising campaign.
Kaepernick’s website describes him as “a professional quarterback who is heavily involved with the community and works to fight oppression of all kinds globally through education and social activism.”
HuffPost did not immediately hear back from a Kaepernick rep for comment.
Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow also reportedly declined an overture from the AAF. Tebow is pursuing a baseball career in the New York Mets’ organization.