by WorldTribune Staff, February 17, 2019
Looking for a high profile star for its new league, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) sought out Colin Kaepernick – but the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s asking price was too high.
According to the Associated Press, Kaepernick wanted $20 million or more to consider playing with the league, which opened play on Feb. 9.
AAF players earn $225,000 over three years. When the AAF season ends in May, players are free to take NFL offers. If they do not get any offers, they are obligated to return to the AAF.
AAF co-founder Bill Polian told The Athletic that CEO Charlie Ebersol’s efforts to reach out to Kaepernick were unsuccessful.
“I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing,” Polian said.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL the past two seasons. In 2016, he began protesting what he said is racial and social injustice in the U.S. by kneeling during the national anthem at games.
Recent reports say that Kaepernick is likely to play in 2019 in the NFL, with the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots reportedly expressing interest.
Kaepernick’s attorney, Mark Geragos, told CNN that he believes in the next few weeks “somebody is going to step up and do the right thing.”
Geragos said that the Panthers and the Patriots could make a play for the quarterback.
“It would not surprise me is Bob Kraft [the owner of the Patriots] makes a move,” he said
Meanwhile, the AAF was also interested in former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, Polian said.
Tebow, who is at Major League Baseball spring training with the New York Mets, declined.
Steve Spurrier, coach of the AAF’s Orlando Apollos, told Pro Football Talk that Tebow’s decision to stick with baseball made sense.
“Tim’s got a chance to go to Major League Baseball. I think Tim’s probably headed in the baseball direction. I don’t blame him. If I were in his situation, I’d probably do the same thing,” Spurrier said.
The AAF generated strong ratings in its first weekend, according to TVByTheNumbers. On Feb. 9, one week after the NFL’s Super Bowl, nearly 3.2 million people watched the pregame and 2.91 million stuck with the broadcast for the action between the Orlando Apollos vs. Atlanta Legends and the San Antonio Commanders vs. San Diego Fleet.
The eight-team league includes the Apollos, Legends, Commanders and Fleet along with the Birmingham Iron, Memphis Express, Arizona Hotshots and Salt Lake Stallions.