SocraticGadfly: Why would Adam Silver go to the NFL? Well, the Kaep and Reid settlements clear the coast

February 15, 2019

Why would Adam Silver go to the NFL?
Well, the Kaep and Reid settlements clear the coast

Red Satan and others have reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has reportedly been contacted by one or more NFL owners about jumping ship to replace Roger Goodell.

(Note: I had already planned a post focusing on the Silver news to go up Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I obviously piggybacked the Kaep settlement onto it. Deadspin has openly requested someone to leak news about what's inside that NDA. Stand by.

Also, this was just a quick hot take on the Kaepernick setttlement because of that. I will have a much more in-depth cold take in a few days. Stand by.)

Other than additional money, and presumably additional stability of "weaker" franchises, why? Why would Silver jump leagues?

Instead of letting players like LeBron James openly address controversial social issues, as well as the likes of Steve Kerr in the coaching ranks, he would be running the No Fun League, having to handle ongoing issues concussions and TBI, on the one hand, and Colin Kaepernick, his suit against the league and everything related to it; all the stuff that Goodell likes to dodge.

I think Silver actually enjoys player issues in the NBA, and the only way he would jump ship is to have approval for some changes, including with Kaep and others like Eric Reid.

On the other hand, as Deadtoads reminds us, Silver did say that the typical NBA player is a joyless anxiety-laden nebbish. And, you know what? As Ray Ratto details there at Somewhat Better Barstool, he might be right to make a jump, if he did. I certainly couldn't blame him. He's fixing the one-and-done and has tweaked the lottery. Leave! (Thanks, Ray, for the derp comment back on Twitter.) And Silver arguably has reasons to leave.

That said, though sadly not disclosing terms, Kaep and Reid settled with the NFL Friday afternoon, so — the coast is clear now!

That said, the non-disclosure does disappoint me. Unless you got Pwn'ed, Kaep, it's almost like Russell Wilson throwing an INT at the 1-yard line after marching downfield on principle.

And, it does uh, off-put me a bit. As a journalist, if I had a lawsuit, and I got into settlement talks, on principle related to the spirt of the First Amendment, I wouldn't sign a non-disclosure agreement. They could bid me down to five bucks plus my lawyers' fees.

And, his own cause involves the First Amendment. As a unionized employee, he has free speech workplace rights that many of us don't. And, as a unionized employee, he also has freedom of assembly workplace rights many of us don't.

Basically, with Kaep, I want to know what, if anything, besides money (beyond the NFL covering his legal fees) is involved. 

And, we have an unofficial answer. William Rhoden says the pair allegedly got $60-80 million. So, $15 million for Reid and $45-$65 million for Kaep?

Reality, as Red Satan also noted about the settlement, is that this was a lose-lose if it went to discovery. The league would have to show the general public just how much money it makes. For Kaep? The league-players collective bargaining agreement makes it VERY tough to prove collusion.

Deadspin talks about Silver's predecessor, David Stern, appearing on a podcast and saying Kap never would have been suspended, then citing Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf as a counterexample. The Dead Zone is half right. Stern did suspend him and then put restrictions on him. BUT, owners didn't chase him out of the league. Instead, he lost his shooting touch, especially on the 3-ball, and worse, as a point guard, lost his playmaking ability. This is like M.C. Baumann of The Ringer in January, telling lies about the contract of Yasmani Grandal and contract offers, as well as telling lies that claim Grandal was better than Russell Martin when Martin got a bigger FA contract, to make a point about how baseball free agency is broken.

Was Stern more of a dick than Silver (setting aside how Silver might handle an Abdul-Rauf today)? Is MLB free agency broken? Yes and yes. No need to tell lies as part of the narrative in either case.

As for the likes of Yardbarker saying the NFL is still king? Yeah, but the king sleeps uneasily with a second straight decline in both TV ratings and ad revenue at the Super Bowl.

As for why the NFL would want Silver? Derp. Anything to get rid of Goodell. Yes, The Shield's contract still runs a few more years, but ... if owners want to get rid of him, they'll buy him out if necessary.

You know what else? John Elway can stop being a hypocrite and trading for POS quarterbacks like Joe Flacco. (That goes for other GMs too, of course.)

That said, Deadspin is surely right on this one. Kaep's been out of the league two years; owners and GMs will claim he's all washed up.

But, not too washed up for Arena Football 2.0 to be interested. OTOH, it was also interested in Tim Tebow. Nuff ced. They wanted Kaep for entertainment, not wins. At the same time, if this IS true (and not saying it is) Kaep had a ridiculous ask for the AAF, and, really, too high for the NFL. (I will tackle this much more a follow-up post.)

And, flipping Deadspin? Kaep has two years of not taking shots from defensive ends and linebackers. With the league doubling down again on mobile QBs like Lamar Jackson, he should be hired.


As for Silver? Well, the NBA is much more cutting-edge as a sports business than the NFL. NFL owners surely would like that.

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