Robert Kraft “would very much like to see” Kaepernick in the NFL

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A full-blown collusion hearing is looming, with a climax that could be a cross between the trial in My Cousin Vinny and the Seinfeld finale. Barring a settlement with Colin Kaepernick, it will be time for a parade of witnesses and exhibits that could become a major distraction for the league.

One key piece of any settlement could be a job for Kaepernick. At least one owner would seem to have no objection to that.

“Let me say this: I would very much like to see him in the league,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Devin Gordon of the New York Times, as part of a profile of NFLPA president Eric Winston.

There had been some chatter about Kaepernick being in the league by being an employee of the Patriots. Gordon mentioned an “unconfirmed media report” from mid-September; more accurately, the link came from the musings of attorney Mark Geragos, who hinted during a September chat with TMZ of a potential landing spot in New England.

Kraft characterized the talk as merely a “rumor” that originated with a lawyer in Kaepernick’s camp. Gordon asked Kraft whether this meant the report was incorrect.

At that point, Kraft paused for three seconds before said, “I’m done talking about it.”

Reasonable minds may differ as to what Kraft meant by that. It’s possible, if not probable, that Kraft remembered the gag order issued by the arbitrator in the Kaepernick collusion case, and that Kraft widely opted to ensure that he stayed away from a line that is far more blurry than it is bright.

Meanwhile, one week after Matt Barkley made his first start since January 1, 2017, Robert Griffin III could make his first start since January 1, 2017. Kaepernick, who also made his last start on January 1, 2017, continues to wait for an opportunity that likely won’t come.