Colin Kaepernick is among the notable free-agent NFL players who did not take the field over the weekend during the XFL’s first week, which featured all of its eight teams in action.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck told NPR on Saturday that the league spoke with Kaepernick’s representatives about the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback joining the league but the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on salary demands – something which Luck has said in the past.
“We gave it some thought,” Luck said. “We have some pretty significant salary restrictions, you know. We're a start-up league, so we want to make sure that we can be fiscally responsible and fiscally prudent. And the, you know, salary requirements that some folks, you know, shared with us were in our case exorbitant, so we, you know, couldn't go down that path.”
He added: “We spoke with his representative and the salary requirements that were broached in that conversation were exorbitant and certainly out of our range.”
Luck said he wasn’t sure whether the league would change its stance on Kaepernick if he lowered his salary demands.
He also touched on the league's stance on protests during the national anthem. The league requires all of its players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“Players have numerous opportunities to express themselves with all the platforms that exist today,” Luck said. “So, you know, standing for the national anthem we believe is a part of their responsibility as players in our league. But we think it's important to have that -- you know, that requirement for our players.”
Kaepernick had a workout for a handful of NFL teams late last year. However, it generated no offers from any NFL teams. It’s unclear whether another showcase will happen in 2020.